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Savoy secret meeting: support of president on agenda

20. 3. 2009
Both men testify in the state prosecution office but have different stories to tell

Prague - Only a year after a meeting between chief of presidential office Jiří Weigl and a controversial lobbyist Miroslav Šlouf one thing becomes clear: the reason for their meeting was the 2008 presidential election.

Both have denied this fact up until now. They had previously claimed the reason these two met secretly in the Savoy Hotel was Weigl's birthday party. Allegedly, they touched on the issue of the presidential election only marginally.

However, Aktuálně.cz has lately discovered in which way these too seemingly unconnected men could link to each other.

Seeking help to support president

The presidential office head was seeking help for president's relection with the controversial figure of the Czech underground despite the fact secret police have been monitoring his activities.

It is important to note that Miroslav Šlouf is a former communist official who used to be one of the most influential men in late 1990s, having frequent contacts with the Czech mafia underworld, in particular with those who stand behind the murder of a Czech mafia boss and controversial businessman František Mrázek in 2006.

It was Jiří Weigl who came out with the truth first: his testimony taken under oath in the state prosecution office confirmed the Savoy hotel meeting took place because of the support of Václav Klaus's reelection.

"We met in order to specify the issues we talked about at a previous meeting. Specifically speaking, if Mr. Zeman [former prime minister under the Social Democrats' government] could speak out on behalf of Václav Klaus," said Weigl.

Two different stories

However, both men claim something different as for who called for the second meeting.

Šlouf says it was him who wanted to meet Weigl again but certainly not because of the presidential election.

"I initiated the meeting because I needed to get a contact of a person we both know, which I lost some time ago," said Šlouf.

But Weigl has a different version.

„It was the second day following the first meeting and it was my own idea to meet again because I wanted to specify some issues we talked before," said Weigl.

"Whatever I say is true and I have no reason to change my mind," Šlouf told Aktuálně.cz. "We met exactly because of the reasons I said and whatever Weigl said during the investigation is his own business," he added.

Shortly before the presidential election in February 2008, Aktuálně.cz aired a CCTV footage taken in the hotel Savoy, which shows the meeting bewteen Šlouf and Weigl. Aktuálně.cz reporter Sabina Slonková, who got hold of the footage, was fined a CZK 20,000 penalty for refusing to disclose her source in February this year.

Aktuálně.cz is working on the details of the story.

autor: CzechNews | 20. 3. 2009

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