President Zeman Accuses BIS of Wiretapping

While Reprimanding Babiš for not Preventing It

31 August 2021

‘People around me are being tapped by the Security Information Service’ (BIS), President Miloš Zeman said on Sunday. According to him, this is on the orders of the head of BIS, Michal Koudelka. President Zeman also claims that they are tapping him as well. ‘I don’t have a cell phone or any other phone. But when I talk to others, I am also being eavesdropped on’ the President said in an interview with the Blesk.cz. He criticized Prime Minister Andrej Babiš from the ruling ANO party for not preventing the tapping.

According to Zeman, the wiretapping has been going on for several years and primarily concern his economic adviser Martin Nejedlý, who lacks a security clearance and is known to have ties to Russia. He used to trade and had a joint venture with the Russian oil colossus Lukoil back in Czechia. Last year — during the Covid lockdown — he flew to Moscow where he met with an adviser of President Vladimir Putin. In 2017, according to the weekly ‘Respekt’, he secretly negotiated with the head of the Russian state-owned enterprise Rosatom, which then applied for the rights for the completion of the Dukovany Nuclear Power Plant in Czechia.

Editor’s Pick: Clashes in Czechia over Expansion of Dukovany Power Plant

Grilling Babiš

Zeman made it known that he also spoke about the wiretapping to Prime Minister Andrej Babiš. PM Babiš has allegedly told President Zeman that he had the wiretaps stopped. ‘But it isn’t true, I learned from inside BIS that the wiretapping is still going on,’ said the President.

Babiš rejects Zeman’s accusations. ‘Neither the government nor I, as Prime Minister, have any competence to allow or stop wiretapping,’ was his response to Zeman. ‘Of course, I do not even have any information about whom BIS or the police are eavesdropping on. I personally refuse to be interested in who our services are eavesdropping on’ he added.

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Simone Radačičová

Editor of the foreign editorial office of Hospodářské noviny.

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