A wellness hotel, restaurant and farm in Olšany, formerly owned by Czech actor and comedian Bolek Polívka, was auctioned to an unknown buyer on Wednesday for 15 million crowns. According to reports there were potential buyers but the initial bid was not challenged. The farm and hotel suffered financial difficulty after renovation costs exceeded original estimates. Mr Polívka, a famous entertainer in Czech film and TV, declined to comment. His agent revealed the actor would discuss the case in an upcoming interview.
The gas company Pražská plynárenská, serving more than 400,000 homes and other sites in the Czech Republic, will test gas lines in the capital and surroundings this week. According to Czech Radio’s Regina, testing will continue through Friday. In testing, companies regularly add an odorous substance to natural gas to make leaks easily detectable by end-users.
Petra Kvitová beat the world number four Agnieszka Radwanska in her first game at the WTA Championships in Istanbul on Tuesday, with the final score 6:4,6:4. The top Czech female singles tennis star, Kvitová, lost to Radwanska last year at the same stage and eventually pulled out of the championship. Kvitová’s group this year also includes the defending champion Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber.
The Columbus Blue Jackets defeated the New Jersey Devils in their last outing in the NHL, leaving the Devils’ with only one regular-time win in their first nine games. Star forward Jaromír Jágr, who joined the hockey club after going all the way to the Stanley Cup finals with Boston, expressed his frustration on-line. The player has two goals and four assists in the season so far.
The police have expanded the charges against the former head of Czech Military Intelligence, Milan Kovanda, in connection with the spying scandal, which brought down the Nečas government. Mr. Kovanda has already been accused of misusing government resources to spy on the then wife of former prime minister Petr Nečas, on the orders of the premier’s chief of staff who was romantically linked with the head of government. The police have now accused Mr. Kovanda of paying a private company to carry out the assignment. Mr. Kovanda came in for another round of questioning with the police on Tuesday morning. Another two former employees of the military intelligence service have also been charged in connection to the case.
The Supreme Court has annulled the amnesty granted to three men accused of fraud and embezzlement in a case surrounding a trading company Monterey Capital. Václav Vojíř, Jan Anděl and Daniel Pajer were accused of embezzling almost 26 million crowns in currency trading deals in the early 2000’s. According to a decision by a Prague court earlier this year, the defendants were eligible for the amnesty announced on new year’s day by then president Václav Klaus because the investigation into the case had gone on for more than eight years without trial. The Supreme State Attorney argued that the investigation only began in 2005, thus making it less than eight years.
The search for the two Czech mountain climbers missing in Nepal will be renewed, according to a spokesperson of the Czech Foreign Affairs Ministry. Climbers Jakub Vaněk and Petr Machold went missing on 13 October, during their attempted climb up the Baruntse mountain, which is next to Mount Everest. The experienced climbers were caught in a snow storm in the second camp at around 6.5 kilometers above sea level, as they attempted to reach the more than 7–kilometer high summit. The helicopter rescue services attempted to evacuate the climbers on October 17 and 18, but saw only a torn-up tent and no sign of life at the camp. The helicopter was unable to land at the time, because of the rough terrain and unfavorable weather conditions.
For the first time ever, the Confederation of Political Prisoners has not submitted a list of nominees for this year’s state awards, which are traditionally given out by the president on 28 October. The confederation’s vice chairman Leo Žídek said that they have a problem with the fact that President Miloš Zeman has not openly opposed the Communist regime. In the past, both of the previous Czech presidents Václav Havel and Václav Klaus gave state honors to a number of political prisoners of the former regime every year, usually based on the nominations from the confederation.
The watchdog organization Acta Non Verba has filed a legal complaint against three government institutions for overspending on IT needs. According to a study the organization carried out together with the Anti-Corruption Fund, the Regional Development Ministry, the Prague City Hall and Office for Government Representation in Property Affairs spend well above average on the information technology needs. By looking into 12 public institutions, the study determined that they spend on average 15,000 crowns per employee per year on purchasing and maintaining information technology, while the Regional Development Ministry had spent on average 215,000 crowns per employee per year and the Prague city hall 167,000 crowns.