Illustrative photo – Head of the Office of the President of the Republic Vratislav Mynář spoke at a press conference on November 25, 2021 at Prague Castle.
Prague – Detectives from the National Center Against Organized Crime (NCOZ) postponed their investigation in November due to a possible threat to classified information in the Office of the President of the Republic (KPR). The case is related to the shredding of a classified report about the explosion of the ammunition area in Vrbětice. NCOZ is now preparing a notification to the relevant administrative authority regarding the commission of a possible offense, said without details at today's meeting of the parliamentary security committee, director of NCOZ Jiří Mazánek.
Last summer, the media reported that police officers from the NCOZ did not find information that would confirm the leak of information in the CPR. NCOZ Director Jiří Mazánek told MPs today that the case was postponed in November. He explained to reporters that he had been adjourned under a section of the relevant law that says there is insufficient evidence to prosecute. “This is usually interpreted to mean that the act may have happened, but we are unable to identify a specific perpetrator,” he said. Without further details, he noted that, based on the facts found in the NCOZ case, he is preparing a notification to the relevant administrative authority, as an offense may have been committed.
The head of the Office of the President of the Republic, Vratislav Mynář, ordered the shredding of secret documents at the end of November last year, according to the media. Two more recent reports were among the documents that were destroyed according to regulations. According to Prague Castle employees, it happened by mistake. The NCOZ found out that the secret document had been shredded. Its detectives came to Prague Castle to check whether someone had tampered with the news about the explosion at the ammunition site in Vrbětice in the Zlín region, which the Czech secret services suspect was caused by members of the Russian secret service GRU.
In connection with the case, the National Archives inspected the management of the file service in the KPR, and fined the office 90,000 crowns for some errors. The castle appealed to the Ministry of the Interior, which confirmed the fine, but reduced it by 30,000 crowns. The Chief Director of the Legislation and State Administration Section of the Ministry of the Interior, Petr Vokáč, today described the errors of the KPR regarding the management of the file service as quite common among other institutions as well. The inspectors also found doubts about the shredding of documents. According to him, a document cannot be shredded in the same year it was created. Vokáč added that methodical help was offered to the Castle, he also addressed the future chancellor Jana Vohralíková in this matter.
Today the security committee of the House of Representatives dealt with the matter again. Part of the meeting was closed, representatives of the NCOZ or the National Security Office (NBÚ) informed the MPs about the details of the case. The chairman of the committee, Pavel Žáček (ODS), told journalists that the deputies were introduced to the information about the handling of classified information in the KPR and the procedure of the state authorities in the secret regime. Committee members supported the creation of an amendment to the Act on Archives, which would take into account some specifics related to the CPR. The vice-chairman of the committee, Šimon Heller (KDU-ČSL), proposed the establishment of an investigative commission that would deal with the cases of the presidential office between 2013 and 2023. The committee should deal with the proposal at the next meeting.