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Communist-era secret police members facing charges

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Prague, Aug 8 (CTK) – Investigators filed charges in spring against three members of the Czechoslovak Communist secret police (StB) over participating in the harassment of dissidents within the Asanace (Sanitation) raid under the Communist regime, the server iDnes said on Monday.

Asanace was to force opponents of the Communist regime to emigrate.

All the three defendants had been investigated over their implication in Asanace in the past, but now the police uncovered further acts of theirs, Eva Michalkova, director of the Office for the Documentation and Investigation of Communist Crimes, has told the server.

“There are the names known from the past era. With some exaggeration, they could be called habitual criminals,” Michalkova said.

“Among them, there is a man who directly dealt the blows and those who knew about and approved of it,” she added.

The number of the charges is yet to increase, Michalkova said.

In connection with Asanace, the police have been receiving new accusations.

One of them was filed by researcher and former dissident Frantisek Starek in the spring, iDnes said.

Starek complained about violent relocation of the community Nova Viska, in which he, too, lived, by StB agents.

The StB devised Asanace at the end of the 1970s and beginning of the 1980s. By means of physical and mental pressure, it was to force troublesome people out of the country.

StB agents started a harassment of the selected opponents of the regime. In some cases, there was physical maltreatment.

The afflicted persons included folk musicians Jaroslav Hutka and Vlastimil Tresnak, priest Svatopluk Karasek, journalist and writer Petruska Sustrova and actor Pavel Landovsky.

Some verdicts have been delivered for the former StB members since the end of the Communist regime.

Czechoslovak interior minister Jaromir Obzina also faced abuse of power charges, but he died in January 2003 before a verdict was delivered.

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