An appellate court in Prague on Wednesday confirmed a 22-year sentence for a 39-year-old man who brutally murdered another man over the PIN code for his credit card. In October 2010, the victim invited the man along with his female friend to his apartment in Česká Lípa, in the north of the country. There they attacked the man and strangled him with a wire to make him reveal the PIN code for his credit card. When he complied, the couple murdered him anyway, and went on a spending spree until they were arrested a week later. The 21-year-old accomplice was already sentenced to 18 years in prison.
Former government minister Aleš Řebíček has become the majority owner of the football club Slavia Prague, the news website ihned.cz reported on Wednesday. Mr Řebíček, who served as transportation minister between 2006 and 2009, bought a 70-percent stake in Slavia from the financial group Natland and now owns 98 percent of the club’s shares. During his term at the ministry, Mir Řebíček came under heavy criticism for lack of transparency and corruption allegations.
The Czech Republic’s women’s team won silver medals in the 50 metres rifle prone event at the European Shooting Championships in Belgrade, Serbia on Wednesday. Individually, Olympic champion Kateřina Emmons finished 11th in the event, Lucie Válová 12th and Adéla Sýkorová 21st. The Czech women’s team finished just one point behind the winning Swedes. Czech men won bronze in the 50-metre running target event on Thursday while Jaroslav Hanuš won bronze in the same event individually.
Environment activists are reportedly filing dozens of lawsuits against the police and management of the Šumava National Park over the logging of bark-beetle infested trees and the actions of the police against members of the blockade. A complaint has also been sent to the Ombudsman. Lawyers consulted by the environment activists say that by all accounts logging in that area of the protected nature reserve is illegal. One of the protesters has asked a court to stop the police actions against environment activists on the grounds that the officers are assisting an illegal activity. A group of around fifty environment activists have now been there for close to a fortnight chaining themselves to trees in an effort to physically prevent logging. Meanwhile the parks management has ordered logging to continue despite the controversy saying that thousands of still-healthy trees are at risk of infestation.
One of the ruling parties in the Czech coalition government TOP 09 has asked the park’s management and environment activists to go back to the negotiating table and resolve the matter in a civilized manner. The party’s leader, Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg said the controversy had come to resemble a pseudo-religious war in which neither side was willing to listen to the arguments of the other. He criticized the park’s management for sidelining academicians who were ready to give valuable advice and said the Environment Ministry was doing nothing to diffuse the tension. TOP 09 said it had received assurances from environment activists that if the ministry organized a round-table debate on the matter they would end the blockade.
The Constitutional Court has annulled a court ruling on the grounds of which a young boy caught up in a messy divorce was placed in a mental asylum. The parents are fighting for custody rights and the child’s father asked a court to remove the boy from his mother’s care because she was influencing him against his father. The court sent him to a psychiatric institution where he has spent the last six months. His mother filed a complaint with the Constitutional Court which ruled that a mental asylum was no place for a perfectly healthy minor for the simple reason that his parents were fighting. This is not the first case in which a child has been treated in this manner. Previously a thirteen year old girl was sent to a psychiatric institution because she did not want to associate with her father.
Czech opera diva Milada Šubrtová has died at the age of 87. The soprano first appeared on stage in 1945 where she excelled starring in the Bartered Bride. Four years later she joined the prestigious National Theatre ensemble where with her three octave range she quickly became one of its star singers. She remained true to the country’s number one opera stage over a successful career spanning more than 40 years. She also made numerous recordings for Czech Radio and Czech Television.
An appellate court in Olomouc has handed out sentences of five and six years to two men who beat to death a homeless man in the city of Prostějov late last year. The two men had appealed an earlier ruling by a regional court which sent the main culprit to a year and a half in prison and gave his accomplice a suspended sentence only. Both appealed the verdict, which was benevolent on the grounds of the victims poor state of health which the judge said had contributed to his death. The appellate court ruled the two men were to be held fully responsible for the result of the grievous injuries they has inflicted.
Lorry maker Tatra Kopřivnice has signed a cooperation agreement with the Dutch firm DAF Trucks on the production and sale of a new lorry. DAF will be supplying Tatra with driver´s cabins and engines and will gain a fifth of the company’s shares. The new Tatra lorry is a combination of the Tatra chassis, DAF driver´s cabins and engines from PACCAR, Tatra CEO Ronald Adams told the CTK news agency on Tuesday. The vehicle is to be unveiled next Monday.
According to Colourplanet.cz, 1181 gay and lesbian couples entered into registered partnerships since the respective law enabling this came into force five years ago. 89 registered partnerships were annulled. The law legalizing registered partnerships was approved in 2006 after lengthy debate and four rejected bills. It gives gays and lesbians similar rights as in marriage but does not allow them to adopt children.