Jindrichuv Hradec, South Bohemia, Feb 14 (CTK) – The lawsuit four of the five Czechs kidnapped in Lebanon in July 2015 have filed against the state is to help gain more information about the incident, one of them, Pavel Kofron, told CTK on Tuesday.
He said the kidnapping was no coincidence. Someone must have informed the kidnappers in detail about where the group was moving in Lebanon, he added.
The Czechs spent several months in captivity in Lebanon and they returned home in February 2016. On the same day, Lebanese agent Ali Fayad, whose extradition was sought by the United States, was released from custody in the Czech Republic.
The four kidnapped men have also applied for a compensation of 40 million crowns.
“I personally do not seek any property or financial profit. I am rather interested in satisfaction or a final word on the incident. Since we returned, we have been considered rogues, while no one has told us or the public what actually happened,” Kofron said.
He is a journalist who works for television in Jindrichuv Hradec.
He said he and his colleague Miroslav Dobes went to Lebanon because they were told that they would be able to interview Syrian President Bashar Assad.
“This was an opportunity that one does not reject,” Kofron said.
However, the interview was not made because they were kidnapped together with another three Czechs in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.
The Foreign Ministry included the place in the list of localities to which it did not recommend people to travel.
“I simply have the feeling that the whole thing was prepared…We were arrested professionally by a trained commando, the whole operation had a system, it was no chance occurrence and it was not a kidnapping motivated by money. Everything was prepared in detail,” Kofron said.
He said he believes that the kidnappers knew well where the Czechs were going. “And I suspect that the whole thing originated in the Czech Republic,” Kofron said.
He added that the lawsuit against the state is to provide information on who was behind the kidnapping.
The Finance Ministry previously rejected to deal with the Czechs’ claim and the demand was also rejected by the interior, foreign affairs and justice ministries.
The Interior Ministry said the journey’s organisers, not the state should shoulder responsibility.
The other members of the five-member group were defence lawyer Jan Svarc, translator Adam Homsi and military intelligence agent Martin Psik.
Psik is the only of the five men who has not applied for compensation.
The kidnapped say that the incident did not have to occur if the secret services cooperated better. They say the civilian intelligence knew about a revenge for the arrest of Fayad is being planned. Svarc was his defence lawyer.