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Lawmakers’ commission completes questioning on info leaks

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Prague, Aug 29 (CTK) – Czech lawmakers’ commission for the investigation of leaks of information from police files completed the hearing of witnesses today, its head Martin Plisek said, adding that Supreme State Attorney Pavel Zeman and former reporter Marek Pribil were among those questioned today.

Plisek (TOP 09) said the commission will meet next week again to start work on its final report that is to be completed by September 8 and submitted to the Chamber of Deputies’ plenary session.

Plisek said discrepancies persist between the testimonies given by some of those questioned and by Pribil, a former reporter of daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD).

He would not anticipate whether the lawmakers may file an action against Pribil over suspected perjury.

Pavel Zeman, who was the last to be questioned today, told the deputies that measures against information leaks have been very tough at state attorneys’ offices.

Zeman called on the lawmakers and media to think about the motive of the people who leak sensitive information. State attorneys definitely have no such motive, he said.

“It is necessary to ask whom the leaks may benefit,” he said, adding that the leaks from criminal files mostly occur after the prosecution was launched and more people know about the given case.

The commission also heard Prague Municipal Court chairman Libor Vavra, with whom they spoke about the law on free access to information.

Based on CTK’s information, the lawmakers previously found out that a court, citing the above law, provided a text from a police file dealing with an open case of suspected sports subsidy fraud. According to the lawmakers, courts should release nothing except court verdicts.

The commission also questioned Michal Murin, head of the General Inspection of the Police Corps (GIBS), to discuss the GIBS’s powers as defined by law and the statistics of information leaks that Murin presented to the lawmakers.

The commission heard a total of 21 witnesses in the past weeks, and another five persons without the witness status.

Pavel Zeman today complained to the commission members about what he called a bias on the part of Plisek because of Plisek’s statement that measures must be taken to toughen the control of state attorneys.

The commission was established earlier this summer mainly in reaction to the leaked audio recordings in which Pribil and ANO chairman and then finance minister Andrej Babis discuss the release of materials to discredit rival politicians.

At the time, Babis owned the Mafra publisher’s house that issues the MfD daily.

Babis called the recordings manipulated and a part of a campaign targeted against him.

He and Pribil previously dismissed having had police files on open criminal cases at their disposal.

The commission’s task was to check whether a law was violated by someone having unauthorised access to criminal files. It was also to find out whether the information gained in this way was used to influence political competition or undermine the rule of law.


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