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Supreme state attorney not released from confidentiality

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Prague, Aug 17 (CTK) – Czech Justice Minister Robert Pelikan has not released the Supreme State Attorney from the obligation to maintain confidentiality for hearing before the Chamber of Deputies commission on leaks of data from investigation files, which the commission head said is an obstruction on Thursday.

Pelikan (ANO) says the two requests for releasing Supreme State Attorney Pavel Zeman from the obligation to maintain confidentiality were not justified as the law on the state attorney’s office stipulates.

“I must consider this an obstruction by the Justice Minister for the ANO movement which has been opposed to the establishment of the commission since the very beginning,” Martin Plisek (conservative opposition TOP 09) told CTK.

Pelikan says according to the law there must be serious reasons for releasing someone from the obligation to maintain confidentiality. Neither of the two requests made as yet meets this, he said.

Plisek says, however, lawyers were consulted about both requests and that other witnesses were released from the obligation to maintain confidentiality based on a practically similar request.

The commission of investigation was set up to deal with leaked recordings of discussions between Marek Pribil, former journalist of daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD), and ANO head Andrej Babis, who owned MfD at the time.

Pribil and Babis spoke about releasing compromising material.

Babis said the recordings are manipulated and a part of a campaign which he claims is being waged against him.

He filed a complaint against them, but the police have shelved it.

Both Babis and Pribil have dismissed having had “open files,” or files on cases being investigated, at their disposal.

Plisek said Pelikan’s decision will not impact the commission’s work in any fundamental way. Yet, he said he will want to speak about the thing at the commission’s meeting on Tuesday, to which Pelikan has been invited.

Zeman is also to come to the commission even though he will not be able to give testimony on individual cases of information leaks.

Pelikan has been released from the obligation to maintain confidentiality. Plisek said the commission wants to speak with him about his opinion of control instruments in relation to the unauthorised handling of investigation files and measures to avert such conduct.

Prague High State Attorney Lenka Bradacova is also to be heard by the commission on Tuesday.

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