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Minister: Czech Police inspection chief should have resigned

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Prague, Nov 1 (CTK) – Czech General Inspection of Security Forces (GIBS) head Ivan Bilek should have resigned long time ago, Interior Minister Milan Chovanec said in the Questions of Vaclav Moravec discussion programme on public Czech Television (CT) Sunday.

He added that he did not receive the answer to a question why not the GIBS, but the police organised crime squad (UOOZ) was investigating the “Olomouc case” of suspected corruption and abuse of office.

Police officers are among the people who have been accused in the case in Olomouc, north Moravia. The GIBS has not participated in the investigation, though its task is to search for and investigate crime committed by police as well as customs officers, prison guards and GIBS inspectors themselves.

Chovanec (senior government Social Democrats, CSSD) also said on TV that some policemen feared the GIBS, which was alarming.

Chovanec agreed with former interior minister Jan Ruml, another participant in the TV debate, that Bilek should end over the Olomouc case.

Under law, the BIS director can be dismissed by the prime minister on the government´s proposal and after the issue is debated in the Chamber of Deputies security committee.

Chovanec said if the GIBS had not investigated the Olomouc case because the state attorneys did not trust the body, it would be a very bad piece of news.

He also said he was surprised at the recent GIBS raid at the UOOZ closely afters the arresting of the suspects, including police officers, in the Olomouc case.

The accused are the Olomouc Region Governor Jiri Rozboril (CSSD), Olomouc regional police deputy head Karel Kadlec, financial crime squad head Radek Petruj and influential businessman Ivan Kysely who is a friend of former interior minister Ivan Lager (Civic Democrats, ODS).

While Chovanec and Bilek shared the view of Bilek´s departure, they have a different opinion about whether Rozboril, who refused to step down as the regional governor, should release details from his accusation to exonerate himself.

Chovanec demands this, but Ruml pointed out that such a step would be on the verge of legality.

“You should not have wanted Rozboril to do so,” Ruml told Chovanec.

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (CSSD) met Bilek recently. Sobotka said the meeting had not dissipated his doubts about the work of the GIBS, but that he would like to wait for the results of the investigation into the Olomouc case first.

Chovanec also said the interior minister should have extended personnel powers concerning the police and GIBS chiefs.

He added that the respective law would be probably amended, at least in the case of the GIBS. Either it would return under the interior minister or its better external control would be guaranteed, he added.

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