The anti-corruption police on Monday conducted a search of the offices of the state-owned forestry enterprise Lesy ČR in Hradec Králové. The move, sources reported, is related to an investigation of a number of non-transparent tenders involving the purchase of IT technology. News site E15 reported earlier that the investigation was related to the fate of 340 million crowns said to have ended up in the hands of non-transparent firms with accounts in Switzerland. According to E15, there is reason to believe that IT contracts worth a total of 1.136 billion crowns had been purposely overvalued. The spokesman for the anti-corruption police, Jaroslav Ibehej, revealed on Monday there had been no arrests; the interim head and economic director of the firm, Michal Gaube, meanwhile, said the forestry enterprise was cooperating fully.
The regional court in Prague has annulled a two-year suspended sentence only recently upheld by the Supreme Court against road rage driver Aleš Trpišovský. The annulment is in line with President Vaclav Klaus’s New Year’s amnesty, affecting sentences of up to two years. In his trial, Mr Trpišovský was accused of presenting a threat to public safety through dangerous and aggressive driving on the country’s D1 highway. According to eyewitnesses he repeatedly hit the brakes in front of slower vehicles as punishment for slowing him down. The presidential amnesty does not affect a seven-year ban forbidding Mr Trpišovský from getting behind the wheel.
The Czech Republic was able to attract 48 companies to the country in 2012, which is the highest number since the financial crisis began in 2008, the financial daily Hospodářské noviny reported on Monday. Hospodářské noviny reported that the increase in the number and size of the investments is most likely due to the improvements in the tax code that came into effect mid-year, which allows for more tax benefits for companies.
Unsuccessful presidential candidate Jan Fischer, who finished third in the first round of the country’s direct presidential elections, has indirectly expressed support for Miloš Zeman in the second round. Mr Fischer, a former prime minister, said he could not support the other candidate, Karel Schwarzenberg. In a statement for the Czech news agency, Mr Fischer accused Schwarzenberg of having hurt the interests of the country, referring to a statement during a debate in which Mr Schwarzenberg discussed the historic expulsion of 2.5 million Germans from Czechoslovakia after World War II. The candidate expressed the opinion that from today’s perspective the expulsion would be regarded as a violation of human rights. Jan Fischer maintained that by comparison Miloš Zeman’s views were consistent and well-known. The unsuccessful candidate has said he himself will go to the polls but suggested he will not endorse either of the candidates beforehand, to allow those who initially supported him to come to their own decision.
A number of well-known personalities have expressed support for
presidential candidate Karel Schwarzenberg ahead of the deciding round of
the presidential election. Public figures who signed an appeal maintaining
that Mr Schwarzenberg would unite Czech citizens was signed by sociologist
Ivan Gabal, musician Michael Kocáb, former interior minister Jan Ruml and
others. The second round of the election is to be held this weekend.
who had already expressed support for Mr Schwarzenberg include filmmakers
Miloš Forman and Zdeněk Svěrák.
Miloš Zeman, the other candidate running, has also received his share of support from well-known personalities: they include performers Daniel Hůlka, Helena Vondráčková, Lucie Bílá, and actors Jiřina Bohdalová and Martin Dejdar.
Two old age pensioners, both women, died in a fire at a nursing home in Příbor in the area of Nový Jičín; four others were taken to hospital for treatment. Overall, 20 people had to be evacuated from the building. Police are investigating possible casues, focussing on the apartment where the fire broke out.
According to Supreme Audit Office of the Czech Republic, the Environment Ministry erred in the purchase of information technology. The ministry allegedly broke a number of laws in the process. Mistakes in public tenders worth almost one billion crowns are the most serious. Criminal charges are expected.
A five-year-old boy was seriously injured at a ski hill in the Jeseníky Mountains on Sunday when he was accidently struck by an adult skier. He suffered a broken upper arm and collarbone in the collision. The 23-year-old who crashed into the boy could be charged with negligence leading to bodily harm; if found guilty, he could face up to a year in prison. The Jeseníky Mountains saw more than 25 incidents in which rescuers were called at the weekend; areas were busier than usual, with skiers out in force to enjoy ideal snow conditions.
A 12-year-old boy saved his four-year-old sister from certain death in their pre-fab apartment building in Chrudim at the weekend, after the little girl opened the door to the elevator and the lift was not there. She came close to falling 20 metres down the elevator shaft but her sibling was able to pull her back in time. The elevator in the apartment building, according to news site tn.cz, had been under renovation, for several days. The firm involved denied it had made any mistakes. Police are investigating the incident.