Czech General Petr Pavel


Security Council To Debate Contentious Military Contracts

Andrej Babiš

Prague, May 23 (CTK) – Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) wants to debate doubts around military orders at a meeting of the National Security Council leadership on June 4, in reaction to findings of Defence Minister Karla Slechtova (for ANO), Babis said after the government’s meeting today.


In connection with a military contract on mobile radars for several billion crowns, Slechtova said the Defence Ministry had obtained “extremely serious findings.” This is why she turned to the military police. She contacted them over other military orders from the past as well.


In an interview with CTK, Slechtova indicated that the problems concerning military contracts might be connected with “the media attacks” on her in the past weeks.


Babis said after the cabinet’s meeting this morning that he had convoked a meeting of the National Security Council leadership at the request of Foreign Affairs Minister Martin Stropnicky (ANO), who had headed the defence sector before Slechtova.


Other cabinet members, including Slechtova, supported the proposal as well during a debate in the government today, according to CTK sources.


The Defence Ministry has been preparing a contract on the purchase of mobile radars for 3.5 billion crowns for several years. They are to replace the outdated Soviet-made radars.


The ministry plans to buy them from Israel in the form of an intergovernmental contract. It was to be signed a year ago, but it has not been done yet.


Former defence minister Stropnicky left it up to Slechtova to sign the contract.


After she assumed the post, she had an audit of big military contracts made. In the case of the radar contract, the audit says it is not certain the radars can be connected to the NATO systems.


A special commission comprising representatives of the Defence Ministry, the Czech cyber security office and the radar maker, the Israeli state company Elta Systems, is dealing with the case.


Slechtova said she had not received the results yet.


She indicated in the past that the contract might be complicated because of a possible investigation by the law enforcement bodies.