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Šlachta: Report on Czech police shakeup is misleading

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Prague, Feb 2 (CTK) – The results of the work of the parliamentary commission investigating the Czech police reform are absolutely “insufficient,” former anti-mafia police chief Robert Slachta who left the police in protest against the reform told CTK on Thursday.

The commission concluded that the shakeup organised by the police management last summer aimed neither to remove Slachta, nor to restrict the activities of elite police squads nor prevent the investigation in certain cases. The findings were presented to a plenary session of the Chamber of Deputies on Thursday.

Slachta said the commission was established to deal with the controversial shakeup, but its final report deals with the shakeup only marginally. “It should speak of the reshuffle, but little is said about it, only that it was quick, hasty,” he said.

Slachta repeated his opinion that the shakeup was launched because of the Beretta case that concerns leaks of information about police work.

Commission’s member Daniel Korte (TOP 09) said Slachta’s own report about the police shake up was a series of rumours.

This report was worked out by Slachta’s subordinate, former elite detective Jiri Komarek and Olomouc High State Attorney Ivo Istvan handed it to the commission.

Korte said information from the report started appearing in the press owned by Finance Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) and the aim of the campaign was to topple Police President Tomas Tuhy and Interior Minister Milan Chovanec (Social Democrats, CSSD) and weaken Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (CSSD).

Slachta said the commission resorted to half-truths because it identified with the position of the police management that launched the shakeup.

“The conclusions are absolutely devastating. It seems to me as if somebody wanted to settle their accounts with the Olomouc High State Attorney’s Office,” he said.

Istvan, one of the shakeup’s critics, told Czech Radio (CRo) that key pieces of information about testimonies of witnesses and proofs are missing in the commission’s report.

Slachta was one of the loudest critics of the police shakeup. He became customs administration deputy director after he left the police.

Last year, the police shakeup caused a sharp conflict between Chovanec and Babis. The ANO movement even threatened to leave the government.

PM Sobotka said on Thursday Babis’s campaign against the shakeup was based on lies and slander. The right-wing Civic Democrats (ODS) said ANO abused the police dispute for its political campaign.

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