News of Radio Prague

Srba and other murder plot suspects charged with illegal possession of arms

The four people in custody on charges of planning to kill a journalist have also been charged with the illegal possession of firearms, the state attorney's office said on Friday. Among the four is Karel Srba, a former senior official at the Foreign Ministry Mr Srba was forced to resign when he was implicated in a scandal exposed by journalist Sabina Slonkova, the target of the alleged murder plot.

Social Democrats responsible for Srba affair, say opposition Civic Democrats

Meanwhile the opposition Civic Democrats have said the governing Social Democrats are responsible for the scandal, which they say is without precedent in the history of the Czech Republic. Ex-foreign minister Jan Kavan, Defence Minister Jaroslav Tvrdik and Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla all bear personal responsibility in the matter, Civic Democrats deputy chairman Vladimir Tlusty said on Friday. Mr Kavan gave Karel Srba a job at the Foreign Ministry, Mr Tvrdik is responsible for military intelligence, for whom Mr Srba was an agent, and Mr Spidla was responsible for the intelligence services in the last cabinet.

Five arrested for illegal possession of Czech-made explosive Semtex

Five people have been charged with the illegal possession of the Czech-made explosive Semtex. The five were carrying 48 kilogrammes of Semtex - and 97 detonators - when they were arrested by police in the car park of a Prague shopping centre on Thursday evening. Police say they have yet to discover how the explosive was attained by the men, who they say are part of an organised criminal gang. Semtex is produced by a company called Explosia near the east Bohemian town of Pardubice.

Police set upon during street dispute in Most

Two policemen were set upon in a run-down largely Romany area of the north Bohemian town of Most on Thursday evening. The police officers were attacked when they arrived at the scene of a street dispute involving up to 400 people. One man is being questioned in connection with the attack, during which one of the policemen suffered concussion.

Number working in manufacturing rose last year

The number of people working in the manufacturing sector rose in 2001 for the first time in three years, according to figures released by the Ministry of Industry and Trade on Friday. The ministry credited the rise - some 20,000 workers - to increased direct foreign investment and state support for small and medium-sized companies.

Weekend weather

Saturday should be partially cloudy with showers in places and temperatures of up to 28 degrees Celsius. Sunday will be more cloudy and storms are likely - temperatures should range between 22 and 26 degrees Celsius.