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Scandals surrounding the Czech military intelligence service (VZS) continue

The scandal surrounding the Czech military intelligence service (VZS) continues to raise eyebrows at NATO, the Pentagon, and elsewhere. The Czech military intelligence service has been involved in several scandals which have not only caused embarrassment for the country, but, as some analysts see it, raise the question of who is in control of that service.

The head of Czech army intelligence, Andor Sandor, was fired in August by Czech Defense Minister Jaroslav Tvrdik for having kept Karel Srba on his payroll as an agent. Srba, formerly the secretary-general of the Czech Foreign Ministry under Foreign Minister Jan Kavan, was arrested for allegedly masterminding a plot to assassinate "Mlada fronta Dnes" journalist Sabina Slonkova in July. Sandor said he was unaware that Sara was being retained as an agent, claiming that the organization has thousands of agents in the field and that he could not personally keep track of all of them.

According to "Jane's Intelligence Review" of 26 September, Tvrdik also ordered the dismissal of Miroslav Kvasnak, the Czech defense attache to India. Kvasnak previously held the post of deputy director of Czech army intelligence. He allegedly failed to discontinue cooperation with Srba after being given a specific order to do so by Tvrdik in the spring of 2001.

Jane's wrote in its 15 February 2002 edition: "Before going to work for Czech army intelligence, Kvasnak headed the Czech National Police's elite anti-terrorist unit (URNA), and was sacked in 1995 following a series of scandals involving members of the unit selling weapons, ammunition and Semtex plastic explosives to organized crime elements."

(RFE/RL 04.x.02)

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