Work on the conversion of Prague’s Bubny railway station, from which the Nazis transported thousands of Jews to concentration camps during WWII, into a discussion centre about the Holocaust should begin next spring, two years after its cornerstone was laid. The Memorial to Silence should then open in autumn 2018, the initiator of the project, documentary maker and director of Memorial Shoah Prague Pavel Štingl, said on Tuesday. The renovation of the disused station should cost and creation of a permanent exhibition and educational programme should cost CZK 125 million.
The Prague Municipal Court has refused to hold a retrial of influential Prague businessman Roman Janoušek, who is serving a four and a half-year term for hit and run. The judge said Mr. Janoušek’s lawyers had not produced any fresh evidence that could impact his sentence. The entrepreneur is currently on release from prison due to health difficulties. Mr. Janoušek was found guilty of a hit and run incident in 2012. Wiretaps published in the Czech media gave the impression that he had held considerable influence over politicians in the capital.
A huge outlet retail centre is set to open near Prague’s Václav Havel Airport in autumn next year. Named Prague The Style Outlets, the centre will feature 190 shops on an area of 30,000 square metres, according to a news release on Tuesday from its backers, the companies Neinver and The Prague Outlet. The outlet centre, which will cost over CZK 1 billion to complete, will be the third facility of its kind in the Czech Republic.
President Miloš Zeman says the formation of regional coalitions to keep the winners ANO out could be interpreted as a betrayal of voters. Communicating through his spokesperson on Tuesday, Mr. Zeman said such moves were unsporting and had given rise to bizarre alliances. ANO came first in nine of 13 regional elections but party chief Andrej Babiš says he expects them to head coalitions in only four regions. The president reiterated his view that the relatively poor showing of the Social Democrats was the fault of the party’s leadership at national level.
A coalition of the Social Democrats, the Civic Democrats and two smaller groupings is set to govern the Plzeň Region after agreeing a deal on Tuesday. The governor will be Josef Bernard of the Social Democrats. ANO came first in regional elections in Plzeň at the weekend but were unable to form a coalition. The same scenario had already been seen in the Hradec Králové and Pardubice regions. However, in the Olomouc Region ANO has been able to form a coalition, also comprising the Social Democrats and the Civic Democrats. ANO chief Andrej Babiš has said his party expect to head coalitions in four of the country’s regions, despite coming first in nine out of 13.
The leading Czech pop singer Karel Gott has made his first concert appearance since treatment for cancer. The 77-year-old performed for 115 people at the small Prague venue Malostranská beseda on Monday night and was joined on stage by a number of other artists. Karel Gott underwent chemotherapy after being diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma late last year. He is estimated to have sold over 50 million albums and outside his native country is popular in Germany and Austria.
The granddaughter of journalist Ferdinand Peroutka has filed an appeal with the Supreme Court over comments made by President Miloš Zeman about him, Czech Television reported on Tuesday. Terezie Kaslová wants the court to order the Office of the President to apologise for attributing to Peroutka the statement “if we can’t sing with angels, we must howl with wolves”; historians say the reference to the Nazis was made by a different journalist. The Office of the President was previously ordered to apologise after Mr. Zeman accused Peroutka of penning an article entitled “Hitler is a gentleman” but appealed the ruling.
The Czech national soccer team are preparing for a World Cup qualifier against Azerbaijan in Ostrava on Tuesday night. The Czechs have only one point from the first two games in their campaign to reach Russia in two years’ time and coach Karel Jarolím says he believes his players will not allow the gap between them and group leaders Germany and Azerbaijan – both of whom are on six points – to widen.
A Czech district court turned down yesterday a legal complaint by Russian businessman Aleksey Torubarov, claiming two million crowns in compensation for what he charged was unlawful extradition to Russia. According to the court verdict, which has not yet taken effect, Torubarov failed to submit substantiated pieces of evidence to prove that he suffered other than proprietary harm by the extradition. Torubarov's wife Svetlana originally claimed another two million crowns in compensation, but she withdrew her complaint. Russian authorities accused Torubarov of business fraud in 2009 and Interpol launched a search for him a year later. The Czech police detained him on the Czech-Austrian border when he was going to spend holidays in Italy. Torubarov applied for asylum in the Czech Republic, but he was taken into custody on the basis of an international warrant for his arrest. Former justice minister Pavel Blazek decided on Torubarov's extradition in May 2013.