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Former culture minister, two others, given conditional sentences in connection with Czech Radio chateau sale


The District Court for Prague 2 has given 10 month conditional sentences to three people, former culture minister Jiří Balvín, former deputy head of Czech Radio Michal Koliandr, and businessman Jan Hnilička, suspected of corruption in connection with the attempted sale of a chateau in Přerov nad Labem belonging to Czech Radio. In addition, each has also been order to pay a 240,000 crown fine.

The ruling reverses an earlier decision from April last year, in which the three were found not guilty based on insufficient evidence. Monday’s decision is not final; two of three defendants have already appealed, the Czech News Agency reported. As a consequence of the case, the planned tender on the sale of the chateau was cancelled by the broadcaster. The region of Central Bohemia expressed an interest in obtaining the property last year.

Czech Radio backs US ambassador over Zeman claim


Czech Radio has produced a photograph of the US ambassador to Prague, Andrew Shapiro, attending this year’s Czechoslovak Independence Day celebrations at Prague Castle, following President Zeman’s claim that he was one of the few diplomats who stayed away from the event. Mr. Shapiro’s presence at the ceremony in Prague Castle’s Vladislav Hall was also confirmed by the German Ambassador to Prague Arndt Freiherr Freytag von Loringhoven who sat next to him at the event. Relations between the president and US ambassador have been strained since the spring of 2015 when Ambassador Shapiro criticized the Czech head of state for attending V-Day celebrations in Moscow while other EU leaders boycotted the event in protest over Russia’s interference in Ukraine.

Monday marks 90th anniversary of Europe’s first live coverage of a sporting event


Monday, October 3, marks the 90th anniversary of Europe’s first live coverage of a sporting event: a football match between Slavia Prague and Hungaria Budapest in 1926. Radiožurnál’s Josef Laufer, who went on to become a broadcasting legend, provided live commentary of the match, a stroke of luck for the reporter after the original candidate to call the match failed to show up. Radiožurnál edged the BBC by several months in its live broadcast of a sporting event, Czech Radio said.

New book by Post Bellum brings testimonies of victims of totalitarian regime


Stories of the victims of the totalitarian regime in Czechoslovakia are set to be released on Monday by the NGO Post Bellum, which has been publishing the testimonies of witnesses to modern Czech history for nearly 15 years. Entitled Stories of Heroes of the 20th century, the book brings more then 30 testimonies which have not been yet available in the audio archive on the NGO`s website. Some of them have already been released as part of the regular Czech Radio show Stories of the 20th Century. The book will be suitable for children from the age of 13.

Court ruling could close parts of Prague ring road


The Supreme Administrative Court has issued a ruling that could close the busy south-western section of the Prague ring road and affect other roads that have not yet received final building approval, Czech Radio reported on Tuesday. The court upheld a complaint from locals who protested against the length of the trial operation on the south-western section of the Prague ring road, with appropriate noise barriers still not in place, ruling that a trial operation longer than three years was excessive. The south-western section of the Prague ring road went into operation in 2010 and still lacks final building approval due to a number of serious technical defects. The Road Management Authority is currently reviewing the impact of the ruling on this and other roads.