Prague, March 8 (CTK) – A Chamber of Deputies commission supervising the military intelligence (VZ) will deal with the case of a VZ officer who was detained near a villa in Prague used by Czech Interior Minister Milan Chovanec accoridng to media, commission head MP Bohuslav Chalupa (ANO) said yesterday.
The commission is to meet in the latter half of March, he added during a meeting of the lower house security committee.
The Seznam Zpravy server reported on Tuesday that a man who was photographing the surroundings of the Interior Ministry’s villa in Prague-Dejvice, which Chovanec (Social Democrats, CSSD) used, was detained last week. The man is a VZ officer, the server said.
VZ chief Jan Beroun dismissed that his service’s agent had been photographing the house used by Chovanec.
The agent was fulfilling his tasks, Beroun told public Czech Television (CT), adding that he was prepared to prove this to the lower house commission.
“I categorically rule out that the military intelligence service was shadowing the minister or his house,” Beroun said.
He also ruled out that the detention of the agent would have some personnel consequences in the VZ.
Beroun said he was convinced that he would manage to explain the agent’s tasks to the MPs, but he refused to elaborate on them.
Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky (ANO) called the speculations about the military intelligence service shadowing Chovanec absurd.
The military intelligence service was fulfilling its legal tasks in Prague 6 for which its officers had all necessary permits, he said.
The military intelligence officers were interested in another building in the neighbourhood, which people from Chovanec’s surroundings did not believe, however, the server wrote.
Stropnicky said he perceived this report as an effort to promote Chovanec in the media before the weekend’s CSSD election congress where Chovanec will be defending his post of CSSD first deputy chairman.
Chalupa said yesterday he had discussed the matter with Stropnicky and Beroun and asked them about the respective materials on the case and that he would also turn to Chovanec.
Chalupa will convoke an extraordinary meeting of the lower house commission supervising the VZ for a day after March 20.
He also expressed surprise at the fact that Chovanec had not turned to the lower house bodies.
The aktualne.cz server has reported that PM Bohuslav Sobotka (CSSD) will meet Chovanec, Stropnicky and Beroun to ask them for an explanation of the affair. The National Security council will also meet in the afternoon.
Lower house security committee chairman Roman Vana (CSSD) said at the security committee’s meeting he was not surprised at a military intelligence agent photographing something but that it surprised him that he had been caught and revealed his identity when fulfilling this task.