• 06/21/2022

    Marek Doležal of the TOP 09 party resigned from his position as Deputy Mayor of Prague 9 on Tuesday, saying that he will also not run for any City Hall or Prague 9 position in the upcoming autumn local elections, the Czech News Agency reports. Earlier on Tuesday, the leadership of TOP 09 called on Mr Doležal to immediately resign his membership of the party, the website of Czech daily Deník N reported on Tuesday. Mr Doležal sat on the oversight board of the Prague Public Transit Company (DPP) and is mentioned in the police file on the investigation into a major corruption case in the company that is currently rocking the Czech political scene. According to currently available police information, Mr Doležal is not among the accused. He said that he was ready to return to municipal work in Prague 9 once his innocence is confirmed.

    TOP 09 has also asked its MEP and Prague branch leader Jiří Pospíšil to end cooperation with his advisor Jiří Fremr, who resigned his membership of the party on Monday. Mr Fremr is not among those charged in the DPP corruption case, but is mentioned in related police files as having introduced the central figures of the case, former City Hall councillor Petr Hlubuček and businessman Michal Redl, to each other, according to reports in the media.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe
  • 06/21/2022

    The replacement candidate of the Pirates and Mayors coalition for the position of Minister of Education will most likely be announced this week, Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional Development Ivan Bartoš of the Pirate Party told news site Novinky.cz on Tuesday. The candidate will replace Petr Gazdík, a founding member of the Mayors and Independents party. Mr Gazdík chose to resign his position at the end of June due to his meetings with businessman Michal Redl, who is now charged with corruption after a police crackdown on an alleged organised crime ring in Prague.

    Mr Bartoš says that the new education minister will first be proposed by the Mayors and Independents, who currently hold the position. Alternatively, the Pirate Party would consider nominating either Ostrava’s Deputy Mayor Andrea Hoffmanová, or analyst Martin Úlovec.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe
  • 06/21/2022

    Petr Adam, one of the men charged in the case connected to the alleged organised ring around former Prague City Hall Councillor Petr Hlubuček and businessman Michal Redl, which is accused of corruption in the Prague Public Transit Company (DPP), was found dead on Monday. According to news site iDnes.cz, he committed suicide. An autopsy is set to definitively determine the cause of death.

    The 60-year-old sales representative of the company Komo-Com was accused of having promised a bribe of CZK 300,000 to Michal Zdeněk, who was a member of the DPP supervisory board. This was raised to CZK 500,000 in September and was supposed to be handed over in monthly payments of CZK 100,000, Noviky.cz reports.

    The bribes were supposed to prevent Mr Zdeněk from preventing the realisation of a complex security system project for which Petr Adam hoped to supply camera and radio systems into the Prague metro.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe
  • 06/21/2022

    The Mayors and Independents party (STAN) has started returning financial donations from people accused in the corruption case surrounding the Prague Transport Company. One of the accused, Pavel Kos, sent the party CZK 350,000 in 2016 and STAN spokeswoman Sára Beránková said the party would return the money even though he was not accused at the time when he made the gift. Others who made donations and were close to lobbyist Michal Redl, a central figure in the corruption case, are were Pavel Manďák, who sent STAN CZK 300,000 in the year 2,000 and Zakaria Nemrah, who is also detained and was earlier convicted of massive tax evasion.

  • 06/21/2022

    A clean-up operation is underway in the wake of heavy storms that hit the central and eastern parts of the Czech Republic on Monday evening, damaging roofs, bringing down trees and power lines. Strong winds combined with torrential rain and hailstones raged in the Central Bohemia, Pardubice, Olomouc and Vysočina regions. Over 70,000 households were left without power and the storm left a 30-centimetre-high layer of hailstones in Křepice in the Znojmo region. 4,800 households were still without power on Tuesday morning and traffic was complicated by fallen trees.

  • 06/20/2022

    Tuesday should be clear to partly cloudy with day temperatures between 21 and 25 degrees Celsius.

  • 06/20/2022

    MEP Stanislav Polčák has suspended his membership in the Mayors and Independents party (STAN) because of his former links to businessman and lobbyist Michal Redl who is at the centre of a huge corruption scandal involving bribery, involvement in organized crime and suspicions of illicit drug and psychotropic substance use. The MEP rejected comparisons with the former Prague deputy mayor, Petr Hlubuček, who is among the eleven people charged in the case, but said he did not want to hurt the party through his former contacts. He made no mention of giving up his mandate as an MEP. Redl is a lobbyist with a shady past who is known to have had close links to Radovan Krejčíř, a Czech former organized crime boss and convicted criminal who is serving a prison term in South Africa.

    Education Minister Petr Gazdík on Sunday resigned from both his government and party posts when it emerged that he had had several meetings with Mr. Redl and communicated with him via encrypted messages.

  • 06/20/2022

    The head of the state-owned company Czech Post, Roman Knap, will leave office at the end of September. Mr. Knap confirmed his pending departure after a meeting with Interior Minister Vít Rakušan on Monday. He said the reason for his departure was not the fact that he had met with  lobbyist Michal Redl who is at the centre of a huge corruption scandal, but the state of the company’s finances. An open competition will be held to fill the post.

  • 06/20/2022

    Physically and mentally disabled people are frequent victims of abuse in the Czech Republic, according to the results of a survey conducted by In IUSTITIA. Some 76 % of people with disabilities said they had faced physical or psychological abuse at some point in their lives, and 58 % have met with prejudice-triggered violence. Only a fraction of those attacked reported the incident to the police. The most common forms of violence were verbal abuse, intimidation or threats. A significant proportion of respondents also reported experiencing physical or sexual assaults.

  • 06/20/2022

    Archaeologists in the Břeclav region have uncovered an almost intact skeleton of a 6th century warrior and his two dogs. They came upon the remains while investigating one of the largest burial sites of the Germanic Langobards from the 6th century near the Nové Mlýny water reservoir. Pavla Růžičková from the Archaeological Institute of the Academy of Sciences, who announced the discovery, said that the exceptionally well-preserved skeletal remains will contribute to a closer understanding of the genetic composition of the Langobard population, its health or dietary habits.

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