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Czech Republic: Former Government Official Sentenced For Conspiring To Kill Journalist

Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic; 30 June 2003 (RFE/RL) -- A Czech court today sentenced Karel Srba, a former Foreign Ministry official, to eight years in prison for conspiring to murder a journalist. Karel Srba, a former secretary-general at the Czech Foreign Ministry, and four co-defendants were sentenced after being found guilty of planning to blow up journalist Sabina Slonkova with plastic explosives.

Prosecutors said Srba wanted to kill Slonkova for articles she published about government corruption. Slonkova's articles prompted then-Foreign Minister Jan Kavan to fire Srba, who also worked for Czech military intelligence.

Police uncovered the murder plot after the contracted killer changed his mind and informed authorities.