Finance Minister and ANO party leader Andrej Babiš should dispel the suspicion of tax evasion by the end of April, the Chamber of Deputies agreed during its session on Wednesday. Mr Babiš should also “plausibly” explain how he had funded the purchase of bonds in his company Agrofert, the lower house said in its resolution, pushed through by the Christian Democratic Party. If he fails to do so, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka should take appropriate measures, the deputies concluded. Mr Babiš, who attended the session, has rejected the allegations, adding that he didn’t need to explain himself.
Two Czech tourists drowned in the Philippines while snorkelling in Kayangan Lake on Coron Island, the news site Inquire.net reported on Wednesday, citing local police. Their bodies were found by rescue teams nearly 22 metres underwater on Monday after an almost 12-hour search. The two men were staying on the island with a group of thirteen Czechs, who contacted the police after they went missing.
A court in Lebanon has cleared the name of Ali Fayad, the Lebanese man who was released to his homeland after the Czech minister of justice refused an extradition request for him from the United States, the news site Aktualnce.cz reported, citing his Czech lawyer Vladimír Řičica. Fayad was wanted by the US over an alleged drugs for arms deal involving FARC guerrillas in Colombia. According to the Lebanese court, the US authorities did not have enough evidence to prove their allegation. Fayad’s release in February last year elicited protests from Washington.
The European Court for Justice has ruled that holding a Kurdish family which was trying to get to Germany from Hungary in a detention centre in the Czech Republic was illegal. According to the court, the Czech authorities did not have the legal right to prevent the refugees from trying to get to another EU member state. The family fled Iraq because of persecution from Islamic State. They were detained in Hungary where they applied for asylum but a few days later they left trying to get to Germany. Under the so-called Dublin regulation, detention is possible only in case of the risk that t the person in question will go into hiding.
Around 600 people gathered on Wenceslas Square in Prague on Wednesday to protest against stricter European gun rules. Among the people who attended the event was former justice minister and current European Parliament deputy Jiří Pospíšil, who said the government should take the proposed changes to the European Court for Justice. The European parliament approved the tightening of gun rules on Tuesday, with all Czech MEPs voting against it.
Rudolf Jindrák, former Czech ambassador to Germany, has been appointed the Czech president’s former chief foreign policy adviser. Mr Jindrák will replace Hynek Kmoníček, the upcoming Czech ambassador to the United States, who flew to the US on Wednesday. Among Mr Kmoníček’s first tasks in Washington will be to prepare the way for Zeman’s planned trip to see US president Donald Trump in April.
Tariffs of mobile phone operators in the Czech Republic are up to 79 percent higher than the EU average, according to the data of the organisation telefonujici.cz, released on Wednesday. According to telefonujici.cz, the main reasons behind the excessive prices include two-year contracts, high margins, the absence of a fourth major operator, as well as massive price difference offered by operators to corporate and ordinary users.
Four new ambassadors to the Czech Republic are set to present their credentials to President Miloš Zeman on Wednesday, the president’s spokesman Jičí Ovčáček told the Czech News Agency. The new diplomats include Israeli ambassador Daniel Meron, French ambassador Roland Galharague, Ukraine’s Yevgen Perebyinis and Mongolian ambassador Njama Naranbat. After the ceremony at Prague Castle, the ambassadors can officially assume their office.
Czech tennis player Karolína Plíšková has reached the quarter-finals of the BNP Parisbas Open in Indian Wells. The world number three was leading Timea Bacsinsky 5:1 in the first set when the Swiss player withdrew due to injury. Plíšková will now face Garbine Muguruza of Spain for a place in the last four. Last season the Czech reached the semi-finals at Indian Wells, which is sometimes dubbed the “fifth Grand Slam” tournament.