Czech news in brief for May 17: Friday's top headlines

Package triggers alert at security headquarters, police charge man with forging hockey tickets, and myopia on the rise due to screen time. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 17.05.2024 09:06:00 (updated on 17.05.2024) Reading time: 3 minutes

SLOVAKIA and Czechia Czech police investigate pro-Fico-shooting posts

Czech police are investigating two internet posts that approved of the failed assassination attempt on Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico. They have assessed these posts as criminally relevant, but are checking the context of each comment before taking further action. The offenders could face up to a year in prison for approving of a crime. The perpetrator, a 71-year-old Slovak man, has been arrested and charged with attempted premeditated murder. 

LEGAL Court asks for psychiatric report of fire starter

The regional court in Ústí nad Labem has postponed the main trial of Jiří Lobotka, accused of starting a fire in the Czech Switzerland National Park, due to concerns about his mental state. Lobotka has admitted to starting smaller fires but denies causing the largest fire in Czech history. The court has requested a psychiatric assessment to determine if he is fit to stand trial. Lobotka's lawyer, Vít Pavko, believes his client may not be well due to being in custody for almost a year. 

CRIME Police arrest ticket forger for ice hockey

The Czech police have arrested a man from the Vysocina Region for forging and selling fake tickets for the Ice Hockey World Championships currently taking place in Prague and Ostrava. The suspect, a 34-year-old, has sold fake tickets worth CZK 600,000 to five individuals, and it is suspected that he has deceived more people. The investigation by the police suggests that the man might have also sold fake tickets for the upcoming football European championship in Germany.

HISTORY Sudeten Germans to commemorate end of world war

The leader of an organization representing Sudeten Germans, Bernd Posselt, announced plans for joint commemorative events with Czechia in 2025 and 2026 to mark the 80th anniversary of World War II and the expulsion of German population from Czechoslovakia. Posselt praised the close and cordial relations between Czechs and Sudeten Germans, and hopes for a joint condemnation of the past to facilitate a common future. Around 3 million ethnic Germans were transferred from Czechoslovakia after the war, with 15,000 to 30,000 deaths.

Security Package triggers alert at security headquarters

Police, firefighters, and paramedics responded to a suspicious package at the Security Information Service (BIS) headquarters in Prague’s Stodulky district. BIS spokesman Ladislav Sticha confirmed the incident. Initial tests indicated potential danger, but subsequent analysis showed the contents were not hazardous. The package, intercepted outside the main building, prompted the deployment of emergency services in special chemical suits. Police are investigating how the substance arrived.

Crime Police charge man with forging hockey tickets

Police charged a 34-year-old man for forging World Hockey Championship tickets and defrauding five victims of CZK 600,000. Police spokeswoman Dana Čírtková said many more could be affected, with matches yet to be played. The man, who also forged tickets for the upcoming European Football Championship, confessed and used the proceeds for betting. The extensive case involves numerous victims and fake tickets with identical QR codes. Police advise purchasers to verify tickets bought outside official channels. The hockey championship in the Czech Republic runs from May 10 to May 26, with 300 fake tickets found so far.

Health Myopia rise in Czech kids due to screen time

The number of children with myopia has increased by 30 percent over the past decade, attributed mainly to screen time, according to Andrea Janeková of the Eye Center Prague. Outdoor activities help prevent myopia, which has a strong genetic component. In Southeast Asia, up to 90 percent of the population is affected. Preventive eye exams are recommended for early detection, especially for children with a family history of eye defects.

Real Estate Castle near Prague is up for sale

The Czech government is selling Štiřín Castle near Prague, with a minimum price of CZK 3.3 billion, the highest ever set by the Office for Representation of the State in Property Matters (ÚZSVM). The electronic auction will run from Sept. 11 to Sept. 13. Previously a hotel with a restaurant, wellness center, and golf course, the castle was transferred from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to ÚZSVM last June.

Business CNB revokes foreign insurance broker's license

More than CZK 20 million meant for subsidiary VZP disappeared from Centrum Pozičnije Cizinců, an insurance company providing coverage for foreigners, reports Deník N. The Czech National Bank has now revoked the insurance broker’s registration. Owner Boris Gurkov claims former partner Oksana Mansurová stole the money, which she denies. Gurkov continues to broker insurance through a new company. Police are investigating the case, but no charges have been filed yet.

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