Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Wiretap scandal being investigated

ČTK |
23 March 2012

Prague, March 22 (CTK) - Czech counter-intelligence (BIS) head Jiri Lang ordered on Wednesday that the BIS inspection immediately deal with the possible leak of wiretappings of Prague former mayor Pavel Bem's phone calls from the BIS, BIS spokesman Jan Subert told CTK yesterday.

The case is investigated over a suspected leak of secret information, Subert said.

On Wednesday, Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) daily released parts of wiretappings of phone calls between Bem (Civic Democrats, ODS) and influential businessman and lobbyist Roman Janousek from 2007. The wiretappings confirm the suspicions that Janousek markedly influenced major decisions made by the Prague City Hall, however, their authenticity has not been proved.

Bem dismisses any wrongdoing.

According to MfD, the ABL security agency, formerly owned by Vit Barta, informal leader of the smallest government party Public Affairs (VV), got the wiretappings in 2009.

Barta says he knows nothing about the wiretappings.

The BIS dismissed the view that the wiretappings leaked from it.

MfD says the BIS monitored the activities of all influential lobbyists in the country in 2007.

Then prime minister Mirek Topolanek (Civic Democrats, ODS) told CTK yesterday that the government received no such report from the BIS and did not order any such monitoring.

Former military intelligence officer Andor Sandor said the leak from the BIS seems to be the most probable variant.

But Sandor said the ABL might have gained the wiretappings also from the mobile operators or from a special police unit that provided legal wiretappings for the Czech intelligence services then.

It might have also been the ABL itself who wiretapped Bem and Janousek, Sandor said.

Prime Minister Petr Necas (ODS) said on Wednesday the leak must be investigated over a suspected breach of law.

The parliamentary commission monitoring the BIS asked Lang to explain the case to it by March 23 and attend its meeting on March 27.

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