News All those charged in money laundering case at Prague public transport firm are released from custody
A court in Prague on Saturday ordered the release of three people charged in a money laundering case linked to Prague public transport company. Another two men who face the same charges were released on Friday, including controversial businessman and lobbyist Ivo Rittig. The men were placed in police custody earlier this week as prosecution feared they could flee the country to avoid trial; however, the court decided in favour of those detained. Ivo Ritting and his associates allegedly siphoned money from the public transport company in Prague; if convicted, they would face up to eight years in jail.
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China has said that it has taken into account a joint statement by Czech political leaders and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs distancing them from the meeting by some Czech politicians with Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama last week. A spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry said the statement respected China’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and the fact that Tibet is part of China. He added though that China would see whether the Czech Republic honoured its words in the future. The Czech joint statement was issued by the president, prime minister, and leaders of both houses of parliament following a private meeting with the Dalai Lama by culture minister Daniel Herman and members of both houses of parliament.
Organisations representing theatres and actors have issued a joint statement entitled We Cannot Keep Silent sharply criticising the Czech Republic’s political elite, in particular President Miloš Zeman. The Association of Professional Theatres and the Actors’ Association condemned a recent declaration from Mr. Zeman and three other senior politicians on the country’s official policy toward China. By giving in to pressure from a foreign power the politicians offended all free-thinking citizens, they said. They also slammed what they called the “vengeful shamefulness” of the president in not giving a reportedly promised state honour to Holocaust survivor George Brady.
Valuable papers and documents pertaining to the statesmanship and political and diplomatic work of the Bohemian king and Holy Roman emperor Charles IV are being installed at the National Archive in Prague on Wednesday. The items will be on show from Friday to Monday as part of the exhibition Archive of the Czech Crown – The Documentary Treasure of Charles IV. Most of the documents have never been publicly displayed before and virtually all of them passed through the ruler’s own hands, according to the archivists.
The Czech prime minister, Bohuslav Sobotka, is to present George Brady with the Karel Kramář Memorial Medal. In a statement, the PM said that the mayor of Mr. Brady’s hometown of Nové Město na Moravě had requested that he honour the 88-year-old in that way. The news follows a backlash after reports that the president’s office had struck Mr. Brady off a list of people to get high state honours later this week. Mr. Sobotka said the Canadian citizen deserved the medal for the courage he had shown during the Holocaust and his educational activities.
It should be cloudy with some fair spells on Wednesday. Temperatures are expected to reach up to 11 degrees Celsius. Daytime highs should remain roughly the same for the rest of the week, though rain is also due.
The Chamber of Deputies will honour George Brady at a ceremonial gathering on Thursday morning. Mr. Brady is to receive a commemorative medal and a commemorative certificate, the speaker of the lower house, Jan Hamáček, told the Czech News Agency. The president’s office is accused of removing Mr. Brady from a list of recipients of state honours on October 28 after his nephew, arts minister Daniel Herman, received the Dalai Lama. The idea of honouring the 88-year-old Holocaust survivor was put forward at the weekend by Civic Democrat MP Miroslava Němcová after the scandal broke. The president’s office denies any wrongdoing.
Christian Democrat deputies and senators are to stay away from a state honours ceremony at Prague Castle on October 28. Party leader Pavel Bělobrádek said the event had degenerated into undignified politicking and the settling of personal scores. The announcement follows a scandal linked to the alleged removal of George Brady from a list of recipients of honours after his nephew, Christian Democrat arts minister Daniel Herman, received the Dalai Lama. However, Mr. Bělobrádek welcomed a suggestion that the president’s office could present Mr. Brady with an award on a different occasion. Many legislators from other parties will also boycott Friday’s ceremony.
Police have proposed that a man accused of throwing an egg at President Miloš Zeman face charges. The man faces up to two years in prison for disorderly conduct over the incident, which took place on the November 17 state holiday last year. A number of missiles were thrown at a stage at Prague’s Albertov, where Mr. Zeman appeared at an event alongside the leader of an anti-Muslim group. A state attorney will now consider whether to file charges against the man, who was not arrested on the spot.
President Miloš Zeman says he is considering presenting an award to George Brady at an appropriate occasion. Speaking via his spokesman, Mr. Zeman said this would be a “gesture of good will”. The president’s office is accused of removing Mr. Brady – a Czech-born Holocaust survivor – from a list of recipients of state honours on October 28 after his nephew, arts minister Daniel Herman, received the Dalai Lama. Mr. Herman says the president made the honour conditional on the meeting with the Tibetan not going ahead. Mr. Zeman’s office denies this. Mr. Brady, who is 88, says he is not interested in receiving an honour from the president.
The 20th edition of the Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival has got underway in the Vysočina town. Among the guests this year at the country’s most important documentary event will be US experimental filmmaker Bill Morrison and Mike Bonanno of activist duo the Yes Men. American psychologist Philip Zimbardo, well-known for a 1970s “prison experiment”, will appear at Jihlava’s Inspiration Forum. The festival runs until Monday.