Olomouc high state prosecutor Ivo Ištvan has been cleared to testify before a parliamentary committee on Tuesday in connection with leaks from ongoing police investigations, receiving permission from the Justice Ministry, website ceska-justice.cz reported. The ministry also cleared Prague’s head prosecutor Lenka Bradáčová, expected to speak before the committee at a later date. A parliamentary committee was set up to investigate the matter after leaked telephone recordings revealed that a journalist had consulted ANO leader Andrej Babiš about the possibility of using information from an ongoing investigation so as to damage his political rivals.
The City of Prague will broaden the area of the city in which Segway vehicles are banned, Mayor Adriana Krnáčová confirmed. The details of the extended ban will be discussed by city councillors on Tuesday. Prague banned Segways from the historic centre and a number of adjoining areas last July; the current plans will further limit use of the motorised vehicles in all of Prague 2 and will extend the ban eastward to the district of Prague 10.
The head of Prague police Miloš Trojánek has strongly denied the claim that an investigation into the Stork’s Nest affair was politically ordered. On the police website, he also strongly denied that the police request for ANO leader Andrej Babiš and deputy leader Jaroslav Faltýnek be stripped of parliamentary immunity was timed to impact the election this autumn. The head of the Prague police said that members of the regional police who he represented were apolitical. The police are investigating subsidy fraud in the case of the Stork’s Nest, a recreation and hotel facility linked to the company Agrofert and, in the past, members of Mr Babiš family.
The National Centre for Combating Organised Crime investigated 361 cases since it began operation last August, the head of the unit Michal Mazánek, confirmed for the Czech News Agency. Of those, 105 cases led to criminal charges. The head of the office rated its functioning positively and denied criticism in an annual report by state prosecutors alleging imbalances or instability in the centralized organization. The founding of the National Centre for Organized Crime led to a government crisis last year between the ruling Social Democrats and partners ANO; the latter strongly opposed the founding of the new bureau, which saw the streamlining and replacement of two earlier investigative units.
A work crew will begin removing debris from the site of a 16th historic church in Třinec- Guty destroyed by fire recently. The town of Třinec has provided space for the remains to be stored. The news was confirmed by Antonín Závada, who is overseeing the removal and replacement project. Construction of a new church at the site is expected to begin next autumn; it should be finished by the spring of 2019, at the cost of around 20 million crowns.
Less than half of 14 billion crowns allotted between the years 2011 – 2016 for the renovation and modernization of the country’s public universities were used up, according to the Supreme Audit Office. In its audit, the bureau reported that the Education Ministry, which oversaw the program, did not have a proper overview over how the funds spent improving infrastructure had helped. The ministry said that it did not agree with the findings and said it was conducting its own assessment of the subsidies program.
WWII veteran and war hero Brigadier General Jaroslav Klemeš was buried with military honours at Strašnice crematorium in Prague on Monday. Mr Klemeš, who was the last surviving paratrooper to parachute into the Nazi occupied territory that was the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, died on August 7 at the age of 95. Mr Klemeš was persecuted by the communist regime after 1948 and was only fully rehabilitated in 1990. Last year he received the country's highest honour, The Order of the White Lion. The funeral ceremony will be open to the public. Among those attending were Defence Minister Martin Stropnický and Chief of the General Staff of the Czech Armed Forces Josef Bečvář.
One third of Czech parents are ready to financially support their children until they start making money on their own, a survey carried out by CSOB bank and published in the daily Hospodářské noviny on Monday suggests. According to the survey, every seventh child in the Czech Republic gets an apartment or a house from their parents when they leave the nest. The level of support differs regionally and according to the family’s financial situation with children in Prague getting more support than elsewhere in the country.
The Czech centre on International PEN club criticized the statements of the billionaire and ANO party leader Andrej Babiš who said his situation was similar to that in the 1950s communist Czechoslovakia. The former finance minister spoke in reaction to the police request to lift his parliamentary immunity over the so-called Stork’s Nest affair, where a company belonging to Babiš‘ large agro-chemical group Agrofert applied for a 50 million crown European grant for work on a recreation and hotel complex. The funding was supposed to be directed towards small and medium sized companies. Representatives of the PEN club said in a statement that Mr Babiš`s statement was an insult to the victims of the Communist regime in the 1950s. They sais Mr. Babiš either disregarded historical facts or he was ignorant.