Social Democrats freeze gift from dubious private sponsor

The Social Democrats have said they will freeze a 13 million crown gift from a private sponsor following media claims that he may have a shady past. The news site Aktualne.cz recently reported that Tomáš Melich – a Czech businessman now living in Austria – had collaborated with the communist secret police. Social Democrat leader Jiří Paroubek said on Friday that the party leadership had decided not to use the gift – which was a contribution to the party’s election campaign –until Mr. Melich had cleared his name in court.