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ČT: Mazánek ends as organised crime police chief

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Prague, June 28 (CTK) – Michal Mazanek will leave the post of director of the National Centre for Organised Crime (NCOZ) after two years at the end of July, the public broadcaster Czech Television (CT) reported on Thursday.

Mazanek, 52, agreed on this with the Police Presidium management and he will leave the police, which he joined in 1985.

NCOZ spokeswoman Iva Knolova did not want to comment on the news that Mazanek was leaving his post.

“I have no official information on this,” Police Presidium spokesman Jozef Bocan told CTK.

Mazanek was the first director of the NCOZ, which started operating in mid 2016 as a merger of the elite anti-mafia and anti-corruption police units. This police overhaul faced strong criticism at the time and suspicions emerged that it was motivated by an effort of the police management to get all sensitive cases under control and sweep them under the carpet if needed. None of the allegations have been proved.

The police shake-up caused a serious dispute between the government parties, the ANO movement and the Social Democrats (CSSD). The main critic of the shake-up, former anti-mafia police chief Robert Slachta, left the police then.

The Police Presidium argued that the new united centre would work more effectively.

Mazanek was a senior detective specialising in murder cases, also dealing with old unsolved murders. He headed the national office for criminal police and investigation before becoming the NCOZ chief.

This year, several personnel changes in top police posts occurred in the Czech Republic. In May, Jiri Sasek was temporarily suspended as director of the civilian intelligence UZIS over alleged economic mistakes that needed to be checked.

In April, Michal Murin left the police inspection GIBS after clashes with Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO).

At the end of May, Michal Trojanek moved from the post of Prague police director to head the police in one of the country’s regions.

Media speculate about the planned departure of Police President Tomas Tuhy who is said to become the next ambassador in Bratislava.

The right-wing opposition criticised Babis’s cabinet for making the personnel changes even though it failed to win parliament’s support in January.

On Wednesday, the second minority cabinet of Babis was appointed. This government includes CSSD ministers and it made a deal with the Communists (KSCM) that they would support it in parliament.

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