A 33-year-old woman who passed herself off as a 13-year-old girl and then a 12-year-old boy was found not guilty on charges of identity fraud in Brno on Friday. Upon announcement of the verdict, however, Barbora Škrlová was immediately re-arrested. Ms Škrlová is also a key witness in a high-profile child abuse case. A judge will now decide whether she should remain in custody until this child abuse trial takes place on June 17. She stood accused of identity fraud alongside one other individual, Kateřina Mauerová. Ms Mauerová posed as Barbora Škrlová’s adoptive aunt, and successfully had Ms. Škrlová taken into a children’s home from which she later escaped.
A Czech soldier who was injured in a rocket attack in Basra, Iraq, on Thursday is to remain in hospital for the next couple of days, said an army spokesperson on Friday. The soldier, whose hand was hit by shell splinter, underwent an operation at a British field hospital, where he will remain for at least the next couple of days. His condition is stable and his life is not in danger. According to military personnel, he will be brought back to the Czech Republic as soon as possible.
Czech President Václav Klaus has vetoed an amendment to the country’s conflict of interest law which would see politicians having to declare the value of the properties they own. According to Mr Klaus, the amendment is ‘unsystematic, ill-conceived and chaotic’ and infringes upon an individual’s right to privacy. The president said he was unhappy with the fact that, under the new legislation, head teachers of both primary and secondary schools would have to, in theory, make public their property assets as well. The amendment can still be passed in spite of Mr Klaus’s veto if a majority of deputies in the Czech lower house vote to overrule the president’s decision.
The Czech public has donated more than one million crowns (62,000 USD) to the charity People in Need’s SOS Burma fund, to help Burmese affected by the catastrophic Nargis cyclone which struck the country earlier this week. The Czech Foreign Ministry has pledged a further five million crowns to help those affected. According to a People in Need spokesperson, Czech aid will not be distributed through the Burmese military junta, but through on-site partnership organizations. The United Nations said on Wednesday that the junta had confiscated all the food and technical help sent to cyclone victims by the World Food Programme, though Burmese authorities have denied the allegations.
Prague City Hall has banned four marches planned by right-wing extremists for May 14, a spokesman for the council said Friday. Neo-Nazis wanted to march from the capital’s Letná district to the Isreali Embassy on Badeni Street. Organisers said the marches were to protest against ‘Jewish chauvenism’, Prague City Hall said that such protests were ‘actually aimed at inciting hatred on grounds of religious conviction’. The outlawed marches would have coincided with another meeting, organized by the Prague Jewish Community, in front of the embassy at the same time.
If general elections had been held in April then the opposition Social Democrats would have won by a margin of nearly ten percent over the Civic Democrats, who are currently in power. Research conducted by the Median agency suggested that the Civic Democrat’s coalition partners, the Greens, would have received less than the five percent of the vote required to make it into the Czech parliament.
Injured Czech football team captain Tomáš Rosický announced on Friday that he will not be taking part in next month’s European Championships due to a recurring knee injury. At a special news conference, Rosický said that he would be going for an operation at the start of next week. The midfielder has been out since the end of January with the painful knee injury. Speculation has mounted locally that Czech manager Karel Brückner will be forced to try and tempt Juventus midfielder Pavel Nedvěd to return to the national team after his international retirement declared soon after the 2006 World Cup.
The Czech Republic beat Switzerland 5:0 at the World Ice Hockey Championships in Quebec on Thursday. The Czechs killed the game off when they scored three goals in the last five minutes of the second period. That result leaves them at the top of Group E on seven points. The Czech Republic’s next game is against Belarus on Saturday.
Czech tennis number one Tomáš Berdych said on Friday that he has recovered from an ankle injury and is raring to play in next week’s Hamburg Masters tournament. The world number ten told the Czech press agency on Friday that he was feeling ‘great’ and that his physiotherapist agreed there was no reason for him not to play in next week’s competition. Berdych suffered the ankle injury at a crucial stage of his country’s Davis Cup tie last month which Russia won 3-2 to advance to the semi-finals. The Czech player was worried the injury could overshadow his preparations for the French Open at the end of the month after already missing Masters tournaments in Monte Carlo and Rome.
The 63rd anniversary of the end of World War II was marked by a number of events in the Czech Republic on Thursday. Czech President Václav Klaus laid a wreath at a monument to Czech soldiers who lost their lives in the service of other countries’ armies in a ceremony attended by veterans and other senior politicians. Mr Klaus also appointed three new generals to the Czech Army. The Chamber of Deputies, the Senate and the prime minister’s residence were opened to the public, on what was a state holiday.
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