Wednesday, March 23, 2011

News 3.23.2011

Copyright (c) 2011 Radio Prague (Cesky Rozhlas 7 - Radio Praha)

News Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

By: Jan Richter

* The man charged with rape and murder of a nine-year-old girl has died
of injuries sustained in a suicide attempt.

* The Czech Republic will not join the planned Pact for the Euro, Prime
Minister Petr Necas has said.

* Czech lawmakers have approved diplomatic status for representatives
of the International Criminal Court.

* The first Czech company has been included on the country's public
procurement blacklist.

* In a raid of fugitive Radovan Krejcir's South African home, police
found a hit list with the name of a murdered businessman on it.

PM Necas: Czech Republic not to join Euro Pact

The Czech Republic will not join the planned Pact for the Euro, Prime
Minister Petr Necas told Czech MPs on Wednesday. Mr Necas said the
pact, which will be discussed at an EU summit in Brussels later this
week, would open the door for tax harmonization which would not be good
for the bloc. The Czech prime minister also said the Czech government
was not consulted when the pact was discussed among the countries of
the eurozone. However, Mr Necas said the Czech Republic might join the
pact at some point in the future.

The Pact for the Euro, drawn up under pressure from Germany and France,
should enhance the eurozone's competitiveness and ensure the
sustainability of public finances in the member states.

Murder suspects dies in hospital after suicide attempt

Otakar T., the 41-year-old suspect in the rape and murder of
nine-year-old Anicka in Prague last October died in hospital in the
early hours of Wednesday. He was hospitalized in critical condition
following his suicide attempt in a prison holding cell. The suspect was
in care at Prague's Military Hospital and was being kept in an induced
coma after suffering swelling of the brain. Otakar T. left a suicide
note but never admitted guilt in the case. The suspect attempted to
kill himself only days after he was charged with Anicka's rape and
murder when police discovered last week the missing girl's body in the
Prague neighbourhood of Troja, near where she was last seen alive.

Czech Republic to get millions from EU funds to pay for flood damages

The Czech Republic is set to receive 10.9 million euros, or 266 million
crowns, from the EU's Solidarity Fund to help pay for damages caused by
floods in August 2010, the European Commission said on Wednesday. The
funds are earmarked for the reconstruction of infrastructure in
northern Bohemia, the region worst hit by the flooding. The release of
the funds is yet to be approved by the European Parliament and the
Council of the European Union. The damages caused by the flooding are
estimated at over 10.5 billion crowns.

The Commission had earlier decided to release another 125 million
crowns from the fund to help cover the damages caused by last May's
flooding as well. The EU's Solidarity Fund was set up after the floods
of 2002 that hit the Czech Republic, Austria, Germany and other
countries in the region.

Lawmakers approve diplomatic status for ICC representatives

Czech MPs approved on Wednesday diplomatic status for representatives
of the International Criminal Court in the country, a week after the
measure was passed by the Czech Senate. Full diplomatic protection will
apply to the court's president, judges, and prosecutors. Czech Foreign
Minister Karel Schwarzenberg said the agreement will allow the court to
effectively pursue its mission. The Czech Parliament recognized the
International Criminal Court three years ago, after it approving an
amendment to the Czech constitution which allowed for the transfer of
certain jurisdictions to international courts of law.

First company added to public procurement black list

The building firm Stavoenergo has become the first company to be
included in the public procurement blacklist of the Czech antimonopoly
authority, its head Petr Rafaj told the news agency CTK on Wednesday.
The country's Office for the Protection of Competition said the firm
counterfeited documents in a 225-million public tender in northern
Moravia, and fined the firm 500,000 crowns. Any company blacklisted by
the Czech antimonopoly watchdog is legally barred from taking part in
public procurement over the next three years.

MPs approve more powers for police for drug seizures

The lower house of the Czech Parliament approved on Wednesday greater
powers for police when confiscating illicit drugs. If approved by the
Senate and signed into law by the president, the bill will authorize
police officers to seize "larger than smaller amount of drugs" the
possession of which is not a crime under Czech law. Under the new
legislation, police will be able to destroy the confiscated drugs and
officers will be authorized to deal with drug-related offences on the

Ombudsman's office slams authorities for lenience in removing illegal

The deputy of the Czech ombudsman, Jitka Seitlova criticized on
Wednesday the country's authorities for lenience in removing illegal
buildings. Ms Seidlova said current legislation allowed for stricter
approaches towards builders who breach the law, including fines,
lawsuits and removal of the illegally built structures. In 2009, the
ombudsman's office estimated that the complete removal of all illegal
structures in the Czech Republic would cost around 1.3 billion crowns.

Czech Republic among countries with lowest TB rate

The Czech Republic is among the countries with the lowest rates of
tuberculosis, the head of the Czech Pneumological and Physiological
Society, Vitezslav Kolek said on Wednesday, the World Tuberculosis Day.
Last year, 662 people contracted the disease in the country, with
around 20 percent of them foreigners, Mr Kolek said. However, an
increasing number of patients are resistant to common treatment of TB.
According to data by the World Health Organization, the Czech Republic
ranks 135th in the world, with less than 7 cases of tuberculosis per
100,000 inhabitants.

Czech army sells surplus firearms

Czech army has launched the sale of thousands of surplus firearms, the
Czech Defence Ministry said on Wednesday. The weapons on offer include
7.62 mm calibre pistols and machine guns, Vz 58 assault rifles, several
obsolete aircraft machine guns as well as several types of sporting
firearms. The weapons will only be sold in bulks to licensed arms
traders, the ministry said in a statement. Any purchased firearms must
either be exported or destroyed by the end of 2013.

Former interior minister lands corporate job

Former interior minister and Social Democrat MP Martin Pecina, will
work as the CEO of Vitkovice Nuclear Power, part of the engineering
giant Vitkovice Holding. Mr Pecina's new job will entail dealing with
possible technology suppliers for two new blocks at the Temelin nuclear
plant, a company spokeswoman said. Martin Pecina served as the interior
minister in the caretaker Czech government between 2009 and 2010. Mr
Pecina has also announced he would quit his MP seat in protest against
the new party leadership, elected at a Social Democrat party congress
in Brno last week.

South African police find hit list in Radovan Krejcir's home

In a raid of the home of the fugitive Czech national, Radovan Krejcir,
outside Johannesburg, South African police found a hit list with the
name of murdered local business Cyril Beeka on it, the news website reported on Wednesday. Mr Beeka was gunned down on
Monday while driving his car near Cape Town. The police said Cyril
Beeka's name was on top of the list which contained the names of three
other individuals. Local media said Cyril Beeka was Radovan Krejcir's
business partner before their relationship recently soured.

The 42-year-old Radovan Krejcir is wanted in the Czech Republic on
charges of fraud and conspiracy to murder. He fled the country in 2005,
and settled in South Africa.

Czech school to send gingerbread hearts to Britain's royal wedding

Students from a secondary school in Vsetin, in the north of the
country, will send gingerbread hearts to the British royal wedding of
Prince William and Kate Middleton, a teacher from the school told Czech
Radio on Wednesday. Their products are set to decorate the Westminster
Abbey where the couple will be wed on April, 29. One of the students
involved in the project won a gold medal at last year's Culinary World
Cup in Luxembourg for her collection of gingerbread pastries.


The end of the week should see clear skies, with occasional morning
fog. Daytime highs will range between 12 and 16 degrees Celsius.

Articles posted on today

Child murder suspect dies in hospital

The only suspect in the case of Anna Janatkova, a nine-year-old girl
who disappeared five months ago and was found murdered last week, has
died in hospital after a suicide attempt in his prison cell, apparently
bringing an end to a case that has shocked the public. The suspect,
41-year-old Otakar Tomek, maintained his innocence throughout the

MTB racers to test mettle in 1,000 mile Trans Czecho-Slovakia

Organisers have announced that registration for a new extreme sporting
event across the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the first-ever 1,000 mile
Trans Czecho-Slovakia, is complete. The race is the brainchild of
extreme mountain biker Jan Kopka, champion and author of two books on
racing in some of the toughest parts of the world.

The Republic of Zizkov, Pt. II: Palac Akropolis

Our weekly Spotlight programme features the places in the Czech
Republic that you should know about; if you're interested in Prague's
arts scene, cultural idiosyncrasies and unique nightlife, then you'll
doubtless find yourself in Zizkov - and Palace Akropolis is the place
to start.

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