Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Interior Minister seeks sacking of intelligence service chief

ČTK |
17 May 2018

Prague, May 16 (CTK) - Czech Interior Minister Lubomir Metnar proposed that the civilian intelligence service (UZSI) chief Jiri Sasek be taken off duty and the government met his request on Wednesday, the Respekt and iDnes servers reported on Wednesday.

The dismissal of Sasek, who has headed the Office for Foreign Relations and Information (UZSI) since July 2014, is connected with the investigation into the service's financial management.

"We have launched the proceedings on the dismissal of the civilian intelligence service chief. It will take legal effect on Thursday," Metnar told the iDnes.cz server.

The chairman of the Chamber of Deputies commission supervising the UZSI, Pavel Blazek (Civic Democrats, ODS), has been informed about the step, iDnes said.

Sasek is taken off duty until the controlling processes concerning the secret service's financial management are completed, Metnar told Aktualne.cz.

Metnar assigned Sasek's deputy Radek Musilek to head the UZSI temporarily, the Aktualne.cz reported.

"The general (Sasek) has been telling me all over again that everything is in order. His statements from the past week did not convince me, however," Metnar told the server.

He added that he would like his step to secure an unbiased investigation into the suspicion connected with the UZSI financial management.

iDnes.cz said Metnar had decided for the steps against Sasek on the basis of an internal checking of the financial management of the UZSI.

"There is a serious suspicion arising from the documents that Sasek and some other members of the office committed the conduct with signs of criminal acts against property and the order in public affairs," the server quoted from the document with which Metnar justified Sasek's being taken off duty.

The investigation in the office is being supervised by the state attorney's office, iDnes added.

The UZSI is a civilian intelligence service with the aim to protect the Czech Republic from the threats, such as international terrorisms, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their components, financial crime and various forms of political extremism.

Under the law, the interior minister appoints and dismisses the UZSI chief with the government's consent. In the post, the UZSI head is accountable to the interior minister.

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