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Babiš says he did not propose GIBS chief’s dismissal

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Prague, March 1 (CTK) – Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) told MPs in the question time in the Chamber of Deputies on Thursday that he had not proposed the dismissal of General Inspection of Security Corps (GIBS) head Michal Murin.

Babis said he was looking into the GIBS financial management on which he had doubts. The National Security Council (BRS) will deal with the matter on Thursday morning, he added.

“I did not propose any dismissal,” Babis said in reaction to a question by Pirates chairman Ivan Bartos.

A check of the GIBS has proved a possible violation of law in placing public contracts, Babis said, adding that this was why he has asked Finance Minister Alena Schillerova to send an inspection to the GIBS.

Murin cheated the government when using part of the money approved for new police officers for police bonuses last year, Babis noted.

He reiterated that he had doubts about Murin’s moral and professional integrity, based on the documents of the High State Attorney’s Office in Olomouc, north Moravia.

Opposition MP Miroslav Kalousek (TOP 09) said the Finance Ministry’s inspection of the GIBS was misused to exert pressure on Murin.

“The financial checks should be impartial and not operate based on political orders. The prime minister admitted that he himself ordered that the Finance Minister to check the GIBS. But it is only the government that may task the ministerm not the prime minister,” Kalousek tweeted.

Babis again dismissed any speculation about the GIBS matter being connected with the Capi hnizdo case of a suspected EU subsidy fraud in which he is prosecuted along with ANO deputy head Jaroslav Faltynek.

The GIBS said Babis had called on Murin to resign twice in February. Murin refuses to do so.

Babis stressed in the Chamber of Deputies yesterday that he had not interfered in the GIBS powers and that he would like to explain the whole matter to the lower house security committee.

Opposition MP Jana Cernochova (Civic Democrats, ODS) said Thursday she asked the security committee to hold a special meeting on March 8 to which Murin would be invited.

Murin asked the committee to hear him so that he could react to the criticism. He refused to leave his post because he is not aware of any mistake on his side, GIBS spokesman Ivo Mitacek said.

GIBS was founded in 2012 and Murin is its second director heading it since December 2015 after the resignation of his predecessor Ivan Bilek.

A GIBS director can be dismissed if facing a criminal charge or after his five-year term of office ends.

Next Friday, the Chamber of Deputies will meet at an extraordinary session to discuss the personnel changes made by Babis’s caretaker minority government, which failed to win Chamber of Deputies’ confidence in January and resigned, but it continues ruling pending the establishment of Babis’s new cabinet.

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