Eight fraud suspects from Taiwan wanted by the Chinese authorities have
filed a constitutional complaint against a verdict by the Prague Supreme
Court which would have allowed their extradition to mainland China.
The Taiwan nationals have rejected the accusations as false and argue that deportation to China would put them at risk of torture or even death.
The Interior Ministry has granted them subsidiary protection for the duration of a year. The case will now be reviewed by the Constitutional Court and a final decision on their possible extradition will be made by Justice Minister Marie Benešová.
President Miloš Zeman and Agriculture Minister Miroslav Toman attended the
opening of the annual agricultural trade fair Země živitelka 2019 in
České Budějovice on Thursday. The largest domestic show of agricultural
equipment, products and animals attracts tens of thousands of visitors
The trade fair is accompanied by dozens of side events focusing on topical issues relating to agriculture such as bark beetle infestation, water management and measures to fight drought.
In his opening speech at the trade fair President Zeman called for common sense in fighting the bark-beetle infestation and opposed efforts to expand the no-go zones in the country’s national parks.
On Wednesday evening, thousands of people attended a protest march in
Prague initiated by Million Moments for Democracy, the organization behind
the largest demonstration in the Czech Republic since the Velvet Revolution
in 1989, which brought an estimated quarter of a million demonstrators to
Prague’s Letná plain in June. Organisers say the event was attended by
10,000 people and served as a reminder of the events of the Soviet invasion
in 1968, the brutal Communist crackdown on protesters in 1969 and as a
protest against the current prime minister and president.
Attendees met on Prague's Wenceslas Square in the evening hours before heading to Hradčany Square in front of Prague Castle.
The march was part of a wider string of demonstrations organized by the group this Wednesday. These were held in 93 sites across the country, including all of the Czech Republic’s major cities.
President Miloš Zeman will meet the new Social Democrat nominee for the
position of culture minister, Lubomír Zaorálek, on Monday afternoon. The
president’s spokesman Jiří Ovčáček tweeted the information on
Wedensday evening, specifying that the meeting will také place in the head
of state’s Lány residency.
Both President Zeman and Prime Minister Andrej Babiš have said that they accept Mr. Zaorálek as the new minister of culture. According to an earlier Castle statement, the president will name the Social Democrat nominee after their meeting.
Three men of Vietnamese origin received sentences between 9 to 10 years in
jail from a court in Plzeň on Wednesday, the news site Novinky reports.
Court spokeswoman Lucie Jíchová told Novinky that they were part of an
organised crime group which, posing as a company called Alchema 3000, sold
chemicals to methamphetamine produces across the country.
The three men, who were arrested in 2017, appealed the decision on the spot. They claim that they were merely company employees selling legal chemicals and that it was not their problem whose hands they ended up in.
Justice minster Marie Benešová met with Prime Minister Andrej Babiš on
Wednesday to discuss the legal means through which the victims of the
H-System housing scheme would have a chance for compensation. Speaking
after the meeting she told journalists that no legal means through which to
solve the problem were found. Instead she recommended that a special
government measure could be another way of dealing with the issue.
The H-System project was founded in the 1990s. Back then, it promised to build cheap housing for its clients. However, it turned out to be a fraud, which only left only dozens of half-built up properties.
The victims of the scheme have since been trying to get compensation, but the minister warned that if their demands were met through the justice system it would open the floodgates to many others receiving compensation money for the many cases of fraud committed during what some call the era of “wild capitalism“.
The prime minister is set to meet with the legal representative of some of the H-System clients, Hana Kordová Marvanová on Friday.
The former Social Democrat deputy chair Lubomír Zaorálek is the new
nominee of the Social Democratic Party for minister of culture, Social
Democrat leader Jan Hamáček announced at a press conference on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has said he has no problem with the choice.
According to the Czech News Agency, Castle spokesman Jiří Ovčáček says
that President Miloš Zeman agrees with the selection.
The president's office is currently identifying a suitable date for a meeting between Miloš Zeman and Mr. Zaoralek, after which the former will name him minister of culture.
On the occasion of the 30-year anniversary of the Velvet Revolution which
led to the fall of communism in November 1989, the Czech Senate will hold
three conferences, the speaker of the upper house Jaroslav Kubera told
journalists on Wednesday.
These will not only focus on the Velvet Revolution, but two further events that took place during the last two months of 1989 – the canonisation of St. Agnes of Bohemia and the reestablishment of the Czech Scouts movement. According to Senate Speaker Kubera the reason behind organising the three conferences is the current relativizing of the values and heritage of November 17, 1989 and the Senate’s role as a guarantor of the constitutional order.
Following a largescale operation in close to 60 sites across the Czech
Republic on Tuesday, the police have now charged 23 suspects with tax
evasion and organised crime, the Czech News Agency reports. All except two
of the suspects are currently being held in custody.
Members of the elite National Centre for Combating Organised Crime cooperated with the Czech Customs Administration and ordinary police units in the crackdown, which is connected to suspicions of tax dodging worth hundreds of millions of crowns.
The suspects could face more than 10 years in jail if their connection to organised crime is confirmed.