Bratislava, Feb 14 (CTK) – The Slovak Interior Ministry is ready to face Czech PM Andrej Babis’s lawsuit against his registration as a former Czechoslovak communist secret police (StB) agent in StB files, Minister Robert Kalinak said on Wednesday but doubted whether the ministry should be the sued party.
Babis envisaged a new legal action after the Bratislava Regional Court definitively rejected a lawsuit he had filed against the Slovak Nation’s Memory Institute (UPN) on Tuesday.
In accordance with a previous Constitutional Court decision, the court said the UPN, which maintains the StB archives, should not have been the respondent party in the dispute, because it had not infringed upon Babis’s personal rights.
“We are ready to face such a lawsuit. I think, however, that we are not entitled to be sued. The StB no longer exists. The court will have to decide who the StB’s successor organisation is. From this point of view, it does not seem to me that we [the ministry] should be a successor to the StB,” Kalinak told journalists.
He said the former Czechoslovak Interior Ministry should be the StB’s successor.
“All data and basic files are kept by the former federal Interior Ministry. [After the split of Czechoslovakia in 1993], the StB archive first went to the current [Czech] Interior Ministry and subsequently to the Czech organisation which is similar to our UPN,” Kalinak said.
He said the Slovak Interior Ministry only had the files of the persons who were also active within security forces following the 1989 collapse of the communist regime.
The Slovak Constitutional Court, which last October abolished the previous regional and supreme courts’ verdict that was in favour of Babis, arguing that the UPN had not been entitled to be sued, did not say who the respondent party should be in such disputes.
In its decision, the Constitutional Court left it up to general courts or parliament to say how to provide protection for those who seek clearance from cooperation with the StB.
Babis dismisses having ever knowingly cooperated with the StB.
According to archive documents, he became a StB confidant in 1980 and two years later, he was won over for cooperation with the StB as an agent, codenamed Bures, by StB officer Julius Suman. The latter, however, said in the original court proceedings that this information was untrue and that the StB never recruited Babis.