Czech shooting sparks quarrel

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A GERMAN tourist to the Czech Republic was yesterday said to be in a critical condition after having been shot by a police pistol in a bizarre incident involving a parking offence, writes Adrian Bridge.

A spokesman for the German embassy in Prague said doctors were still extremely concerned about Markus Rankl, 26, a Bavarian wounded in a shooting incident at the weekend.

The German authorities have demanded a full explanation of what happened to Mr Rankl, the second German tourist within a month to be shot in mysterious circumstances after having ostensibly infringed Czech traffic regulations. 'We are extremely worried and disturbed by what has happened, the spokesman said.

According to Czech police, Mr Rankl was shot in the head after a scuffle with a police officer who had found him illegally parked in the town of Pribram, 40 miles (64km) south-west of Prague, early on Sunday morning. During the scuffle both men fell to the ground and 'a shot was fired from the (officer's) pistol', said the police. But an eyewitness claimed that the shot was fired after Mr Rankl had been subdued.

The incident comes just four weeks after another German tourist was shot dead by a Czech policeman after failing to obey an order to halt.

The Czech interior ministry has promised full investigations into both shooting incidents and has suspended both officers from duty.