UPDATE: Jiri Sasek has become the new chief of the Czech foreign intelligence service UZSI. Previously, he was in charge of one of the agency's sections. His appointment was approved by the government on Wednesday, Interior Minister Milan Chovanec told Aktualne.cz.
Sasek's predecessor, Ivo Schwarz, will start his new job as the Czech ambassador to Israel next week.
The original story from June 12 is here:
Prague - Czech civilian intelligence agency (UZSI) chief Ivo Schwarz will quit his post in July and become the new ambassador to Israel.
The new chief of the UZSI will be selected in two months, Interior Minister Milan Chovanec told Aktualne.cz.
Before the new UZSI head is selected, current deputy director Miroslav Toman will serve as acting director, and Schwarz will be his adviser.
Aktualne.cz has previously reported that there are several candidates for the next civilian intelligence head. The main one is former anti-organized crime squad UOOZ officer Zdenek Blahut, who also served at the UZSI itself. However, Czech ambassador to Germany Rudolf Jindrak or Jiri Sasek, one of the UZSI's section chiefs, have also been mentioned.
Czech media previously reported that former People in Need NGO head and current ambassador to Israel Tomas Pojar was also considered for the post.
Czech-Israeli relations are traditionally very close. During his visit to the Czech Republic in 2012, Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu said that the country was "Israel's best friend in Europe".
Audit into UZSI's finances
The Interior Ministry has recently started an audit into the UZSI's suspicious public contracts and alleged information leaks, reported the MF Dnes daily, adding that the agency has bought real estate property worth CZK 100 million (EUR 3.65 million) in the past five years,.
“After speculations in media and several interpellation sessions in the Chamber of Deputies about the organization's financial management, I am considering a inquiry,” said the minister, who also wants to move the UZSI under Parliament's supervision. “We are working on a legislative change to put the service under the control of the Chamber of Deputies,” said Chovanec.
Unlike the UZSI, which is under the Interior Ministry, the internal security and counter-intelligence agency BIS is responsible to the Chamber of Deputies.
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