Diplomatic Briefing

Your exclusive news aggregator handpicked daily!

Archive for Czech Republic

Newsline: France replaces ambassador to Czech Republic after visa scandal

France has replaced its ambassador Charles Malinas to the Czech Republic, who held the post from last August, with Roland Galharague, who was appointed on February 10, according to the embassy’s Internet page. Mondafrique server puts the change in connection with a scandal with the granting of French visas to the citizens of the Central African Republic, where Malinas was ambassador before he was moved to Prague. According to the server, the French embassy issued hundreds of visas to Central Africans without checking them duly. The case was uncovered a few months ago when the French anti-terrorism forces detained a group of radical Muslims, who arrived in France from the Central African Republic. It writes that the practice was covered up personally by Malians and that the French Foreign Ministry is investigating the case. It is not ruled out that Malinas sought personal enrichment. He had to leave Prague in December already. Malinas officially assumed the post last October.


Newsline: Czech President, Foreign Ministry disagree on work of Embassy in Kiev

The Foreign Ministry backed the Czech Embassy in Kiev in reaction to President Milos Zeman’s criticism of its work on Saturday in connection with the applications of Volhynian Czechs for repatriation. The ministry’s spokeswoman Johana Grohová said the ministry has no trustworthy information that would challenge the work of the embassy. Zeman said on Saturday he is deeply dissatisfied with the embassy’s work in connection with the Volhynain Czechs. He said the embassy does not have a good attitude toward them. Czech ambassador to Ukraine Ivan Pocuch told iDNES.cz server he only learned about the repatriation applications from media and meetings with Czech representatives. The Foreign Ministry said if there were any information about the embassy’s mistakes and if it were confirmed, it would take corresponding steps. It added it closely monitors the situation in Ukraine.


Newsline: New Palestinian ambassador to Czech Republic announced

Khaled al-Atrash will be the new Palestinian ambassador to the Czech Republic and replace Jamal al-Jamal, who died in a Semtex explosion at the embassy in January. Al-Atrash has been ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina since 2010. Al-Atrash has applied for diplomatic visas for himself and his family at the Czech liaison office in Ramallah in the West Bank last week. He will probably arrive in Prague by the end of September. He should stay in the Czech Republic for four years. Jamal al-Jamal died after an explosion that shattered the Palestinian Embassy New Year’s Day . According to investigators, he was killed by Semtex hidden in a book. The police first investigated the accident as a killing out of negligence and unauthorized armament. They found 12 weapons from the 1980s in the embassy building. The Palestinians said this was a gift from then representatives of Czechoslovakia. The police shelved the case in early July.


Newsline: Police in Czech Republic halt investigation into Palestinian Embassy blast

Czech police have shelved the investigation into a Semtex explosion at the Palestinian Embassy in Prague in January that killed Ambassador Jamal al Jamal, because the police did not uncover any crime. Detectives were investigating the case as a killing out of negligence and also because of unauthorized armaments, because 12 weapons originating in the 1980s were found in the building after the accident. The police shelved the investigation into the death because no crime was involved. The same applies to the suspicion of armaments. Allegedly, it has not been proved that anyone else but the ambassador could be suspected of causing the death. Since he has died, the respective law rules out his criminal prosecution. The blast shattered the embassy in Prague-Suchdol on New Year’s Day. Jamal al Jamal succumbed to his serious injuries sustained in the explosion. Representatives of the embassy said in February the death was caused by an unintentional error, and the same applies to the possession of unregistered weapons. Palestinian authorities later apologized to the Czech government. According to investigators, Jamal al Jamal was killed by Semtex hidden in a book. His daughter spoke about a possible murder.


Newsline: Czech envoy called on carpet in Saudi Arabia over anti-Muslim words

Czech ambassador to Riyad Jiří Slavík was summoned to the Saudi Foreign Ministry on Sunday to hear a complaint about President Miloš Zeman’s anti-Muslim statements. Zeman, commenting on a recent attack in the Jewish Museum in Brussels, said Islamic ideology was behind similarly motivated violent attacks. “One of the articles of the Hamas movements says: ‘Kill every Jew you see.’ Do we really want to pretend that this is just an extreme?” LN quotes Zeman as saying. Saudi Arabia has launched a diplomatic offensive toward the Czech Republic over Zeman’s words, LN writes. Prague authorities fear that the rift with the most powerful Arab country may spill over into the economic sphere, it adds. There is tension between Saudi Arabia and the Czech Republic now.


Newsline: Czech diplomats deny reports of Czech mercenaries in Ukraine

Czech diplomacy has no information on alleged Czech mercenaries taken hostage by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, Czech Foreign Affairs Ministry spokeswoman Johana Grohová said in reaction to a Ukrainian separatist leader quoted by the Interfax-Ukraine press agency today. Pro-Russian separatist leader Myroslav Rudenko told the agency his units captured many foreign mercenaries, including a number of Polish and Czech citizens. “This is the first time I have heard something like this. I can neither confirm it nor comment on it,” Grohová told the Czech News Agency (ČTK). The Czech embassy in Kiev also said it had no information on captured Czech soldiers. “We will not comment on the statements by Mr Rudenko,” the embassy’s spokeswoman Zdeňka Caisová said.


Newsline: New Mystery in Case of Palestinian Ambassador Killed in Embassy Blast

Czech police investigating the death of the Palestinian ambassador in Prague are offering a key new detail in their investigation, now saying he was holding an explosive in his hand when it detonated. Ambassador Jamal Al Jamal, 56, was killed in the blast at the Palestinian Embassy on New Year’s Day. While officials had said Jamal opened a booby-trapped safe, police now say their tests suggest Jamal was “mishandling” the explosives. Czech police investigating the death of the Palestinian ambassador in Prague are offering a key new detail in their investigation, now saying he was holding an explosive in his hand when it detonated. Ambassador Jamal Al Jamal, 56, was killed in the blast at the Palestinian Embassy on New Year’s Day. While officials had said Jamal opened a booby-trapped safe, police now say their tests suggest Jamal was “mishandling” the explosives. “An experimental blast carried out by experts confirms this theory,” police spokeswoman Andrea Zoulova said according to Agence France-Presse. “The explosive was not placed on the door or inside the safe and was not there to protect the safe,” Zoulova added, according to the BBC. “Mishandling remains the most likely option,” she said. “There’s a question of whether he knew what he was dealing with.” The new information casts new mystery on the circumstances of the explosion inside the embassy. The BBC reported that Czech police believe they need few a few more weeks to complete their investigation which is now being characterized as a case of negligence.