Babis Turns To IT Expert To Head UZSI

Prague, Aug 1 (CTK) – IT expert Marek Simandl may become the new head of the Czech civilian intelligence service UZSI where a reshuffle is to take place in two weeks, the daily Lidove noviny (LN) writes today.


This may happen after Prime Minister Andrej Babis returns from his holiday and the civil service hires Simandl for the work in the UZSI.


These are the last two obstacles preventing Simandl from being appointed the new head of the office.


At present, Simandl is the deputy head of the National Cyber and Information Security Agency (NCISA). He focuses on cyber security.


People from the background describe him as a professional worker without any political contacts.


Interior Minister Jan Hamacek (Social Democrats, CSSD) is about to propose Simandl to the government since the UZSI falls under the Interior Ministry.


Simandl’s naming must be preceded by the departure of UZSI director Jiri Sasek.


In May, former Interior Minister Lubomir Metnar took Sasek off duty over a scandal with what was called illegal financial machinations in the intelligence service.


The case is now being checked by the secret service inspection.


Simandl already worked in the secret service in the past. He was an employee of the Information Security Service (BIS) for several years. Later he joined the National Security Office (NBU), which issues security clearances.


Simandl is a graduate from the Cevro private university, LN writes.