Czech intelligence works out report on Novichok for Zeman


Prague, April 26 (CTK) – The Czech counter-intelligence service BIS has worked out a report that President Milos Zeman ordered on whether the Novichok nerve agent was developed or stored in the country, BIS spokesman Ladislav Sticha told CTK on Thursday.

“The BIS fulfilled the task and the report will be given to the president on the set date. As the report is classified, we cannot make any comment on its contents,” Sticha said.

Novichok was used to attack a former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Britain in March. Russian diplomacy claimed that Novichok might have come from the Czech Republic, while London accused Moscow of the attack.

In late March, Zeman asked the BIS to check whether Novichok was developed or stored in the Czech Republic and present its report within one month. The Czech Senate sharply criticised Zeman for this. Prime Minister Andrej Babis said the Russian claim was a blatant lie. Foreign Minister Martin Stropnicky and Defence Minister Karla Slechtova (all three ANO) dismissed the claim. Some other Czech politicians said it was a manoeuvre to distract attention.

The right-wing opposition accused Zeman of spreading disinformation and of treason, arguing that he joined the propaganda of a foreign power aimed against the Czech Republic.

Zeman’s spokesman Jiri Ovcacek said he had no information on the issue. He said Zeman would comment on it when the time is right.