Tuesday News Briefing
Randy Blythe acquitted of manslaughter charges; treason charges against Klaus labeled "poor, vindictive and mean"
Posted: March 5, 2013
US heavy metal star Randy Blythe cleared of manslaughter
The Prague Municipal Court acquitted U.S. singer Randy Blythe Mar. 5 of the charge of killing a fan at a Prague concert of the Lamb of God metal band in 2010, saying Blythe did not injure him intentionally. The young man climbed up the platform, from which he fell down after a clash with Blythe and suffered a head injury to which he later succumbed in hospital. The verdict has not taken effect as the state attorney can appeal it. The state attorney had proposed a five-year prison sentence for Blythe. The court ruled the act described in the charges cannot be qualified as a crime. It added that the dead man's family can claim compensation in civil court proceedings.
Read more on this developing story from reporter Jonathan Crane in the latest edition of The Prague Post out tomorrow.
The Senate's decision to press high treason charges against President Václav Klaus in the Constitutional Court has been labeled "poor, vindictive and mean," according to deputies for the senior ruling Civic Democratic Party (ODS) "Those who voted for the decision tried to settle their accounts with Klaus in a cowardly manner," the deputies said in statement sent March 5. "In doing so, they have not only irrevocably harmed their own reputation, but also the reputation of the entire Czech Republic, including the Senate itself," it added. The left-dominated 81-member Senate voted 38-30 for the proposal March 4 and it was officially received by the court March 5.
Organizers say this year's Prague Writers' Festival due to be held in April will last only two days instead of the usual week because of Prague City Hall's decision to reduce its subsidy from 3.5 million Kč to to 300,000 Kč. Festival vice-president Vlasta Brtníková says each year the event brings authors and poets from all over the world. Brtníková said a shortage of money has made the organizers drop the negotiations with some of the invited guests. Under a new system of subsidizing culture, the city has distributed a total of 300 million Kč in grants to selected cultural projects and institutions this year.
New passenger car sales in the Czech Republic fell 22 percent year on year in February, and in the first two months of 2013 registrations of new passenger cars dropped 14.5 percent, the Car Importers Association (SDA) has said. The top-selling passenger car make was Skoda, followed by Volkswagen, Hyundai and Ford. Only sales of buses and lorries increased year on year.
Police are looking into the conditions under which the Proton Therapy Center of Václav and Pavel Laštovka received a contract with VZP medical insurer for 1 billion Kč in reimbursements per year, Hospodářské noviny reported March 5. At the time, VZP was under forced administration. Erste Group Immorent lent 4 billion Kč to the center on the basis of the contract with VZP and is insisting the contract be fulfilled.
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