Thursday, 18 July 2019

StB files must not be abused - Charter 77 on Corbyn case

ČTK |
23 February 2018

Prague, Feb 22 (CTK) - The abuse of old records of the Czechoslovak StB secret service should be condemned, a group of signatories of the Charter 77 dissident manifesto said on Thursday, reacting to the recent accusation that British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn collaborated with the StB.

The old records should not be abused by "untrustworthy former StB officers," the press release said.

The time when the StB could influence the lives of people in Czechoslovakia ended in 1989 and should not influence the current political situation in other countries, the signatories, including former Czech prime minister Petr Pithart, said.

Former Czechoslovak communist secret service (StB) officer Jan Sarkocy said earlier this month that Corbyn knowingly collaborated with the StB in the 1980s. Sarkocy is 64 now and lives in Slovakia.

"The accusation expressed by the former StB officer who worked under diplomatic cover in London in the 1980s shows the threat posed by the uncritical acceptance of the information of its activities today, several decades later," the Charter 77 press release said.

It added that the credibility of the published information had been denied by Czech Security Forces Archive director Svetlana Ptacnikova.

Ptacnikova said Corbyn could not have been an StB agent, otherwise "his" StB file in the Czech archive would have been very different.

"If Corbyn had been agent, his file would have been kept in a different category, among the files with numbers beginning with four," Ptacnikova said.

In a report headlined Corbyn and the Commie spy, the British paper Sun wrote in mid-February that "Jeremy Corbyn met a Communist spy during the Cold War and ‘briefed’ evil regime of clampdown by British intelligence."

"Mr Corbyn was vetted by Czech agents in 1986 and met one at least three times — twice in the Commons, it was claimed," the paper added.

Corbyn really met him, but believed he was a diplomat.

Sarkocy, an StB officer, worked as a secretary at the Czechoslovak embassy in London from 1986 to 1989, when he was expelled from Britain together with several other spies. At the very time, a final report on Sarkocy's contacts still mentioned Corbyn as an "RS", which is a person the StB wanted to exploit, but not an StB agent.

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