Prague - On Friday 11 March, a few minutes after 6 PM local time, a military police unit consisting of masked men armed with automatic guns raided the seat of the public service Czech Television.
The reason was simple: to retain a document the TV used in 2007 when covering an affair involving Miroslav Krejčík, a former head of the Czech military intelligence.
Back in 2007, the document was ranked as classified.
However, the military police visited the Czech Television seat already on Thursday 10 March, one day before the raid, and the Czech Television staff provided it with one of the copies of the document, which is already declassified, said Czech Television spokesman Ladislav Šticha.
Šticha also added that the military police was aware of the fact that Czech Television has never had at its disposition the original version of the document.
Czech Press Agency said that the military police raided the Czech Television seat because it wants to investigate who leaked the document in 2007
The Czech Television spokesman also said that the form of the military police raid was comparable only to an action against a drug cartel.
Czech Television has already filed a complaint against an abuse of power by the military police, and has asked for its documents to be returned.
The spokesman said that the police confiscated many personal items, lists of sources, and documents about important affairs in the Czech Army and Defense Ministry, unrelated to the 2007 military intelligence affair.
After five hours spent in the seat of the Czech Television in Prague, the unit left with bags full of documents and other items.
PM Petr Nečas called the raid inadequate and its form inacceptable. Defense Minister Alexandr Vondra put three senior officers of the military police temporarily off duty, including the chief.