Former transport minister Vladimír Kremlík has filed a criminal complaint
over an alleged offer he received of a CZK 1.5 million bribe in connection
with a contract to audit a motorway vignette system. Mr. Kremlík says the
attempted kickback came from lawyer Martin Janoušek, who was representing
the company that won the contract. For his part, Mr. Janoušek denies the
allegation and is suing the ex-minister for defamation.
Meanwhile, Pirate Party MP Lukáš Černohorský says he has also filed a criminal complaint in connection with the matter. He says that if Mr. Kremlík, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and the director of the BIS counterintelligence service knew about the offer but did not tell the police they may be guilty of not reporting a felony.
Mr. Kremlík said on Monday that he had contacted BIS in mid-January, while he was still a cabinet member, in connection with the alleged bribe.
Some 70 percent of the people who took part in last year’s Prague
Marathon suffered heart damage while one-quarter sustained damage to their
livers, suggests a study by Prague’s Institute for Clinical and
Experimental Medicine published on Tuesday. Most of those problems were
temporary, the study’s authors said.
The doctors said that amateur runners are frequently unprepared for the marathon and could therefore seriously damage their health. Frequent problems include dehydration, some runners collapse after they reach the finish line and dangerous overheating can occur, they added.
State attorney Jaroslav Šaroch has halted the prosecution of Andrej Babiš
Jr., the son of the Czech prime minister, in connection with a case of
alleged misuse of EU subsidies. A spokesperson for the Prague state
attorney’s office said the decision was made in line with the shelving of
the main part of the case on the grounds that it did not constitute a
The PM’s son’s case was hived off from the main case last spring.
Mr. Šaroch halted the prosecution of Prime Minister Babiš and a number of others in August. However, the supreme state attorney, Pavel Zeman, said in December that the investigation of Mr. Babiš and a one-time advisor would continue.
The matter centres on the Stork’s Nest complex near Prague, for which CZK 50 million was received in EU subsidies. Mr. Babiš and family members were accused of manipulating the facility’s ownership to win the grants, a charge he has consistently denied.
Tennis star Petra Kvitová has been given the annual Věra Čáslavská Award for extraordinary contribution to women's sport and the Olympic movement. Kvitová said it was a great honour and that the late gymnast had been an inspiration for how she fought both within and outside sport. The two-time Wimbledon champion, who is 29, said Čáslavská was very energetic, adding that that was a trait they shared.
The minister for regional development, Klára Dostálová, says the Czech
lower house should begin to discuss a new construction law after July.
Officials at her ministry said the legislation had received 4,500 remarks
during a consultation period, with the large number putting the whole
process back by two months.
The construction law is intended to accelerate and simplify the acquisition of planning permits and in turn allow the building of more new apartments. Under Ministry of Regional Development plans it ought to come into effect at the start of 2021.
A wooden well uncovered by archaeologists near Ostrov in the Pardubice
Region has been confirmed as the oldest known prehistoric wooden structure
found anywhere in the world, the Czech News Agency reported on Tuesday.
Dendrochronological and radiocarbon dating show that the well dates from
5256 or 5255 BC.
The discovery was made during a dig at the site of a future motorway. Once the research has been complete the well will be put on display at the Museum of East Bohemia in Pardubice.
All of the 48 individuals thus far tested for the coronavirus epidemic in
the Czech Republic have tested negative, Minister of Health Adam Vojtěch
tweeted on Tuesday.
The number includes five Czechs who returned from China on Sunday night. These will however remain in quarantine for two week’s at Prague’s Na Bulovce hospital.
A further 100 who are in China have until the end of the week to return to the Czech Republic, after which all direct commercial flights will be cancelled. However, Prime Minister Andrej Babis has promised that a special government plane will be sent for those who do not manage to get back home before the deadline.
Singer, dancer and former Czech Pop Idol finalist Ben Cristovao has won the
national round and will be representing the Czech Republic at this year’s
Eurovision Song Contest, Czech Television announced on Tuesday. The
32-year-old of Czech-Angolan heritage who was born in Plzen has changed his
name for the competition to the shorter Benny Cristo and will be performing
the song Kemama, which he co-wrote with Osama Verse-Atile, Charles Sarpong
and Rudy Ray.
This year’s Eurovision Song Contest 2020 begins at 9:00 PM on Tuesday, May 12 and ends on Saturday, May 16. It will take place in Rotterdam, Netherlands following the country's victory in last year’s competition.
The former Minister of Transport, Vladimir Kremlík, who lost his post two
weeks ago after a hackathon organised by IT specialists showed a government
tender for a new motorway electronic vignette system was overpriced, has
told news site Seznam Zprávy that he was offered a CZK 1.5 million bribe
to let CGI, the company that won the tender, keep the project.
Mr Kremlík says he informed the Czech counterintelligence service (BIS) about the offer and that he met with its director. According to an unnamed security services source quoted by Seznam, BIS then contacted Prime Minister Andrej Babiš about the situation. However, Mr Babiš denies this and BIS has refused to comment.