Press Review

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Unsurprisingly all of Wednesday's dailies give a great deal of attention to the alleged plot to kill investigative journalist Sabina Slonkova. The man who was allegedly offered 200,000 crowns to carry out the killing has not been shy about giving interviews - Karel Rziepel is interviewed in almost all of the Czech dailies.

Unsurprisingly all of Wednesday's dailies give a great deal of attention to the alleged plot to kill investigative journalist Sabina Slonkova. The man who was allegedly offered 200,000 crowns to carry out the killing has not been shy about giving interviews - Karel Rziepel is interviewed in almost all of the Czech dailies.

Mr Rziepel - who press photos show is completely covered in tattoos, at least from the waist up - tells Mlada fronta Dnes that the alleged plotters were unprofessional, and simply didn't have what it took to carry out the murder. The police, on the other hand, acted excellently, says Karel Rziepel, who has spent a total of 14 years in prison for various offences.

Moving on to politics, and the Czech cabinet is not very well educated, according to Lidove noviny. Several ministers are not good at languages, and Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla famously does not like speaking English. Over a third of the cabinet have law degrees, including Interior Minister Stanislav Gross, though he graduated with a very slim diploma paper just three years ago, the daily says, adding that Culture Minister Pavel Dostal didn't even get a school leaving certificate.

Mlada fronta Dnes reports on the growing influence of the Russian mafia in Czech prisons. One out of eight prisoners is a foreigner, and half of them are from Ukraine, Russia or Vietnam. Many of the prisoners from the former Soviet Union are former military men and tend to form well organized teams and use their own rules. The new Justice Minister Pavel Rychetsky tells the daily that the problem is one of the first issues he plans to tackle.

Lidove noviny writes about a property restitution case where a house confiscated by the Communist government in the early 80s has just been returned to its original owners. It took an incredible 10 years of court proceedings for the owners to regain the house they left behind when they emigrated to Sweden in 1982. The court decided that since the house was sold for a price much lower than it should have been - according to official set prices at the time - it must be returned.

Passenger attacks inspectors with tear gas, reads a headline in Mlada fronta Dnes. The passenger in question was riding a public bus and had no ticket when two inspectors approached him. The man first replied with verbal threats before spraying them with tear gas. Although attacks on inspectors by what are called 'black passengers' have decreased in recent years, such cases are not rare.

Mlada fronta Dnes also reports on the financial difficulties of the Globe Theatre in Prague, an outdoor theatre modelled on Shakespeare's Globe. The play Richard III was to have been performed through the whole summer. However, due to a lack of funds to cover the expensive stage design and elaborate Elizabethan costumes, the theatre has had to end the season much earlier than expected.

Authors: Kamila Rosolová , Ian Willoughby
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