Czech PM resigns over his aide's illegal spying scandal
16. 6. 2013 23:27
Czech police conducted massive raid and arrested PM's office head, senior military intelligence officers and former lawmakers
UPDATE: Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas said that he will resign on Monday 17 June. Necas has been under heavy fire since the head of his office, Jana Nagyova, was charged a few days ago with ordering the military intelligence agency to conduct illegal spying on certain civilians.
The original story from June 14 is below.
Prague - Police pressed charges against Prime Minister Petr Necas's office head Jana Nagyova and six other people, including military intelligence officers and former lawmakers, said prosecutor Ivo Istvan at a press conference broadcast by state Czech Television, which was related to a wave of high-profile arrests and raids that have taken place in the capital city and other parts of the country in the past three days.
The operation was carried out by the Czech organized crime police unit UOOZ, whose chief Robert Slachta was also present at the presser, and supervised by Olomouc High State Attorney Istvan.
UOOZ chief Slachta said that the investigation that resulted in the largest police raid in Czech history was started at the beginning of 2012 and was focused on an organized crime group that used clientelist connections to generate profit and influence state agencies and companies. The operation involved 400 police officers and the UOOZ was assisted by the NPC anti-drug agency and the URNA rapid reaction unit.
Between Wednesday and Friday this week, the UOOZ conducted 31 searches of houses and non-residential facilities and seized between CZK 120 million (EUR 3.7 million) and CZK 150 million (EUR 5.8 million) in cash, tens of kilograms of gold and valuable documents, said Slachta. Police detained and interrogated eight people and eventually pressed charges against seven of them.
Istvan said that the arrests were related to two criminal cases. The first one involved Prime Minister Petr Necas's office head Jana Nagyova, who breached her authority by tasking the Military Intelligence agency to provide information on three civilians. The military intelligence officers approached by Nagyova carried out the request even though the operation was not approved by the Defense Minister, as required by the law. Nagyova and two military intelligence officers have been charged with abuse of authority and corruption. Nagyova faces as much as 5 years in prison.
Czech media reported that Nagyova had asked the Military Intelligence agency to provide her with information on the Prime Minister's wife, and that the arrested intelligence officers are the agency's former and current chiefs, Ondrej Palenik and Milan Kovanda. Istvan and Slachta refused to confirm this, but they said that Nagyova's motives had been personal.
The second case involves three former members of the Chamber of Deputies, who gave up their mandates in order to allow the ruling coalition to pass a bill and did so in exchange for senior positions at state companies Czech Railways, CEPRO and Czech Aeroholding.
Media reported yesterday that the three persons in question are former "ODS rebels" Petr Tluchor, Ivan Snajdr and Ondrej Fuksa.
There are more suspects related to the case who may yet be arrested, said Istvan and Slachta at the presser.