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Police to undergo tighter control over leaks from files

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Prague, Aug 8 (CTK) – The Czech Chamber of Deputies commission investigating leaks from files of law-enforcement bodies will propose that instruments to control them be enhanced in its final report, commission chairman Martin Plisek told journalists today.

According to the statistics of the General Inspection of Security Corps (GIBS), the number of the leaks has been growing in recent years.

In 2014, it dealt with 37 cases, last year with 52 and there were 21 of them in the first six months of this year, Plisek said.

The commission also passed a resolution asking Justice Minister Robert Pelikan (ANO) and Supreme State Attorney Pavel Zeman to relieve some of their subordinates of the oath of secrecy so that they can question them.

Plisek said Interior Minister Milan Chovanec (CSSD), Police President Tomas Tuhy and Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) have already done so.

“I believe that Pelikan does not want to make any obstructions,” Plisek said.

Today, the commission questioned Chovanec, investigative journalist Janek Kroupa, former GIPS deputy director Dusan Brunclik and Tuhy.

Plisek said the commission members had received some alarming information especially from Kroupa, who told journalists that he had been asked by the commission about the way the group around journalist Marek Pribil, due to which the investigation was mainly started, had worked, how it gained information and how it created it.

Kroupa said he had answered that Pribil had a group of people who had gained the information for him.

“In some situations, they created compromising information on some opponents, such as in the cases they never published, but which I uncovered at the moment I was making a search in the relevant sphere,” Kroupa said.

Plisek said there were some informal parallel structures which were communicating.

“This is why that when drafting the final report we will certainly want internal and external instruments of control towards law-enforcement bodies to be enhanced,” Plisek said.

The recordings of the meetings between government ANO chairman and former finance minister Andrej Babis and Pribil, from the daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) that Babis had owned, was the main impulse for the establishment of the Chamber of Deputies commission.

In the recordings, Babis and Pribil discuss prepared articles about Babis’s political rivals and the most suitable time for releasing such compromising material. Further recordings in which they debated the police investigation into some cases emerged later.

However, Babis and Pribil denied having ever had police files on open cases in their hands.

Plisek said the deputies had received the first analysis relating to whether a false testimony provided before deputies was a criminal act.

“Obviously, false information presented before an investigating commission is a criminal act,” Plisek said.

The deputies also agreed that they would invite Pribil again for questioning.

Plisek said the commission was to question Sobotka, Olomouc High State Attorney Ivo Istvan, police officer Vladimir Sibor who heads a special body for wiretappings and head of the anti-drug centre Jakub Frydrych.

The deputies will also want to question the former police who may have collaborated with Pribil.

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