Press Review

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All of today's papers are carrying the story of Helena Cermakova, sentenced to three years in prison for criminal negligence in the death of her five-year-old daughter Tereza, who she accidentally smothered while in an alcoholic stupor. Mlada fronta Dnes features the teary- eyed Cermakova on its cover with the caption "Being a mother? She failed".

All of today's papers are carrying the story of Helena Cermakova, sentenced to three years in prison for criminal negligence in the death of her five-year-old daughter Tereza, who she accidentally smothered while in an alcoholic stupor. Mlada fronta Dnes features the teary- eyed Cermakova on its cover with the caption "Being a mother? She failed".

The story was one that was widely followed in the Czech Republic last year, after the little girl disappeared, prompting an extensive police search in the area of Kladno, near Prague. Later, Mrs Cermakova led police to the area where her daughter's body was hidden. But both the prosecution and Mrs Cermakova's lawyer have appealed the decision, so it will be some time before the case is resolved.

Friday's Pravo looks at another story getting much attention - the continuing saga of the formerly aristocratic Walderode family, who are leading an extensive legal battle to reclaim property nationalised under the post-war Benes Decrees. Their property has been estimated as being worth 3 billion crowns, and includes the state castle Hruby Rohozec in the Turnov region in northern Bohemia.

The story is in the news because the Czech constitutional court overturned an earlier decision which failed to recognise any right on the part of the Walderodes' to their original property. The reopening of the case is not however a guarantee that the family will get anything back. Moving on: Lidove noviny looks at parliament speaker Vaclav Klaus's criticism of the arrest of Milan Srejbr, the former tennis player turned businessman, who was taken into custody earlier in the week to begin serving a five-year prison sentence for fraud.

Police took Mr Srejbr into custody just a day after he underwent surgery. And although a doctor was present throughout the police escort which brought Srejbr to jail, Mr Klaus criticised the procedure as reminiscent of the darkest days of Communism.

Lidove noviny's Petr Fischer, however, spares no punches in his editorial that criticises Mr Klaus for "passing the buck", in his claim to be upholding democratic principles while rejecting the suggestion he was defending Mr Srejbr for personal reasons. Mr Srejbr was the secret donor in a financial scandal that swept through Mr Klaus's Civic Democratic Party four years ago, a scandal which contributed to the collapse of his government. According to Mr Fischer's argument, Mr Klaus only defends principles when he has a good reason for doing so.

Finally, in today's press review, fans of filmmaker Jan Svankmajer may be interested in an interview with the filmmaker on his award-winning film Otesanek, the story of a little wooden creature raised by loving Czech parents unable to have children of their own. The little tree stump grows into an insatiably hungry little demon, that eats everything in sight, including the neighbours. Otesanek gobbled up the Czech Lion film of the year award.