News Court hands stiff sentences to murderous trio
The regional court in Ostrava handed stiff sentences on Monday to three men who robbed and murdered an older couple from Bohumín in the Karviná area last year: 27 years in prison, 30 years, and life behind bars. All three were heavily in debt and at least one of the three knew the victims, who were shot and killed in a garage and buried in a pre-dug grave on the spot. The men had staked out the couple from among a number of potential targets; crucial in their decision was that they believed the couple had cash in their home instead of in the bank. The perpetrators made off with 230,000 crowns but had ‘hoped’ for up to five million. All three will be held in maximum security prisons.
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Footballer Tomáš Rosický has set a target of being able to play for Sparta Prague in the Europa League first round match against Rostov in mid-February. Rosický joined Sparta in the summer but has only played around 20 minutes following an Achilles heel injury. He says he should be able to rejoin team training around the end of the month. The away leg against Rostov is scheduled for February 16. Rosický also held out the possibility of playing for the national team if needed.
The last man on the moon, US astronaut Eugene Cernan – who never forgot his Czech and Slovak roots – has died at the age of 82. Cernan led the last manned mission to the moon, Apollo 17, in December 1972 and was the last man to stand on the moon. He took a Czechoslovak flag with him and brought back geological samples for Czechoslovakia from the mission but encountered an official cold shoulder from the communist regime when he tried to hand them over on a visit in 1974. Cernan visited Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic several times later and for the last time in 2008. His grandmother’s family came from South Bohemia and emigrated to the US at the start of the 20th century.
The Czech government agreed in principle Monday that wider consultations with local councils take place before choosing a site to store high level nuclear waste. But the government rejected a specific proposal put forward by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, which also suggested that the upper house, the Senate, be involved. That idea in particular sparked opposition from other ministries and the government’s own legislative council which warned that dangerous precedents might be set. The industry ministry has now been tasked to create a working group to come up with new ideas by June 2018, after elections to the lower house of parliament scheduled to take place in October this year. The repository site should be selected by 2025 with seven sites now in the shortlist as possible locations.
Mid-sized Czech brewer, Bernard, has reported record production figures for 2016. The brewer produced just over 315,000 hectolitres of beer last year with around a fifth of it destined for export. The biggest export destinations are Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden and Russia. Exports were renewed to the United States in December.
The former governor of the Czech National Bank Miroslav Singer has landed a new jobs as the chief economist of Generali CEE Holding. He also stands in line to be chairman of the supervisory board of the Czech Republic’s biggest general insurer, Česká Pojišt’ovna. Singer ended his term as governor of the Czech National Bank in June last year after previously serving on the bank board. He had been earlier linked with a possible job at the Council of Europe Development Bank.
Tuesday will be cloudy with some sunny intervals, especially in the north and east of the country. Top daytime temperatures will range between minus 1 and minus 4 degrees Celsius.
Czech Minister for Foreign Affairs, Lubomír Zaorálek, has said he expects a satisfactory outcome in the case of two Czechs detained in Turkey on suspicion of aiding terrorists. On Monday the foreign ministry sent a formal letter to Ankara demanding details of Markéta Všelichová and Miroslav Farkas. The minister said their expulsion and return to the Czech Republic could be expected soon. The two were detained in November last year by Turkish police apparently over their alleged contacts with Kurdish groups.
Czech scientists have discovered that a tapeworm found in Alaskan salmon can infect humans. The tapeworm had previously only been found in fish on the Asian Pacific coast. The discovery was made by a team from the Biological Centre of the Academy of Sciences based in České Budějovice led by Roman Kuchta. Infection can take place from eating under cooked or uncooked fish, such as in Sushi.
A Nigerian arms dealer being investigated for suspected corruption over arms deliveries for the fight against the terrorist group Boko Haram has bought a 50 million crown luxury penthouse apartment in Prague, according to the news server Seznam. It said that 43-year old Hima Aboubakar bought the flat at Prague Libenský Ostrov last year. His company, SEI, is being investigated over an alleged US 930 million dollar scam surrounding arms deliveries to the Nigeria army which according to some reports never took place.
The Ministry of Justice has come under fire from the country’s main financial watchdog, the Supreme Audit Office. Looking over the accounts of the ministry for 2015, the office said they did not represent a clear or reliable picture of its housekeeping with around 2.5 billion crowns worth of faults. It added that the capital accounted for, inflows, outflows, and dealings with third parties was often flawed from an accounting viewpoint. It in particular highlighted the fact that the ministry had written off 130 million crowns from the value of its main Prague headquarters over six years under a bizarre auditing concept.