The Constitutional Court ruled Wednesday that the police were wrong to drop a case concerning the exploitation of foreign workers in the country. The case concerned workers, many from Slovakia, Romania, Mongolia, and Ukraine, recruited through agencies to work in the forests and undertake other manual work. In some cases the workers recieved none of the wages promised or just a fraction of them. The exploitation dossier was built up between 2009 and 2011 but police dropped the case in 2013.
The Prague 1 district court on Wednesday dealt with the case against Communist Party MP Marta Semelová for her controversial statements about the 1968 Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia and the 1950 show trial of Milada Horáková. The defamation charges against Mrs Semelová were filed by TOP09 lawyer Michal Kincl. Police had previously said that the deputy’s comments on Czech Television in 2014 had not been a criminal offence. Mrs Semelová questioned whether Milada Horáková’s confession had been forced and said the Soviet-led occupation of Czechoslovakia had in fact represented international help. The court later ruled that the MP had no case to answer and did not need to make an apology.
The National Security Agency, the state body tasked with ensuring domestic security and anti-espionage services, has offered its help and advice to help the prime minister and other members of the government avoid having their e-mails hacked. The offer follows reports Tuesday the prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka’s e-mail was hacked by an extreme right-wing group. More than 80 public and private mails were accessed by the hackers. A few weeks earlier the prime minister’s Twitter account was hacked with racist and neo-Nazi statements inserted.
The supervisory board of Czech state owned passenger rail operator Český Drahy Wednesday cleared the sale of a plum Prague real estate site. A controversial bid by the Czech-Slovak group Penta was made for around 10000 square metres of land at Prague’s Masaryk station for around 235 million crowns. Penta has ambitions to build a high rise business district at the site. A final agreement should be signed by the end of January.
Public confidence in Czech president Miloš Zeman climbed to 59 percent in December, a jump of three percentage points since November, according to a poll published Wednesday by the CCVM agency. Over the same period confidence in the government slipped two percentage points to 44 percent. The most trusted public institutions are local councils with around two thirds of Czechs saying they have faith in them. President Zeman made a controversial appearance together with anti-Islamic activists in mid-November last year.
A Prague court on Wednesday began hearing the case of 16 men accused of smuggling rhino horns into the Czech Republic. Ten of the accused appeared in court and pleaded not guilty. The case against them is that as part of luxury safari trips between 2011 and 2013 they offered to bring back trophies from South Africa for clients. The men could face prison sentences of up to eight years if found guilty.
The supervisory board of Czech state owned passenger rail operator Český Drahy will discuss Wednesday the sale of a plum Prague real estate site. A controversial bid by the Czech-Slovak group Penta has been made for around 15000 square metres of land at Prague’s Masaryk station for around 400 million crowns. Penta has ambitions to build a high rise business district at the site.
International e-commerce giant Amazon appears to be facing problems with its ambitions to build a European centre for returned goods on the outskirts of Prague. The local council at Horni Počernice has said that it will take a negative stance against the project and dispatch that to Prague City Hall. Amazon has said it has a target to open the giant hall which would employ around 3,000 people by the end of next year. Czech Minister of Industry and Trade Jan Mládek has warned that Amazon could easily take its investment elsewhere if it faces opposition to its plans.
The Czech upper house of parliament on Wednesday agreed to an amendment that the new civil service law be amended allowing ambassadors over the age of 70 to continue in their posts. The change primarily affects two ambassadors: Livia Klausová, wife of the former Czech president and current ambassador to Slovakia, and Eva Filipi, the ambassador in Syria. Her work in Damascus during the ongoing conflict has been praised.
The publishers of a Czech children’s comic have apologized to readers after one of their cartoonists drew characters in sexually suggestive positions for a popular story series. Managers at the Čtyřilístek publishers said that the creator and artist responsible, Bohumil Fencl, was longer employed by them. The artist described the characterisations as horseplay and pointed out that children would not have read anything into the suggestive poses. A poll of readers undertaken by one newspaper found that most said he should not have been sacked.