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Chamber backs Czech intelligence heads during Lebanon affair

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Prague, Aug 19 (CTK) – The lower house commission supervising the Czech military intelligence service (VZ) yesterday expressed support to the VZ chiefs in connection with media information that one of the five Czechs who recently went missing in Lebanon was allegedly working for VZ.
“We clearly supported the heads of the military intelligence,” MP Jana Cernochova (opposition Civic Democrats, ODS), from the commission, said.
Daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) wrote last week that Jan Beroun may be forced to leave the post of VZ chief over the case of the Czech men who have been missing in Lebanon for one month now.
The commission showed concern over the fact that information from the intelligence leaked to media and it wants to adopt measures preventing similar leaks from recurring. Its members will discuss the issue with Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) and the National Security Council.
Beroun provided information on the latest steps taken in the cases of abducted Czech citizens in Lebanon and Libya to the commission.
In March, a Czech man working in Libya was among nine people who were kidnapped after Islamic militants’ attack on the Ghani oil field. Three of the people were released, the fate of the remaining six remains unclear.
A group of five Czech men visiting Lebanon has been missing since July 18. Apart from a lawyer, an interpreter and two journalists, the group includes VZ officer Martin Psik who did not go to Lebanon privately but to fulfil tasks for the VZ, MfD wrote.
Discords have flared up between the VZ and the Czech civilian intelligence service (UZSI) over the unclear information regarding Psik’s mission, which contributes to undermining Beroun’s position as the VZ head, the paper wrote.
No official information on Psik has been available. A Czech delegation of diplomats and police officers visited Beirut recently to deal with the case.
kva/dr/rtj

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