Matt Atlas

Zeman Claims Czech Intel Wiretapped Him

President Zeman claims that the Czech intel agency BIS wiretapped him and his advisors  in an interview with Blesk,

Zeman said that he told Prime Minister Andrej Babiš about the surveillance. “Eventually, in the presence of the Chancellor, the Prime Minister told me that he had stopped the wiretaps, but this was not true, because I learned again from inside the BIS that the wiretaps were continuing,” Zeman said.

But Babiš claims that he does not have such power and does not even know who the BIS or the police are eavesdropping on. “I refuse to ever care who the services are eavesdropping on,” said the prime minister, who so openly denied the president’s words. The Prime Minister did not answer yesterday’s supplementary question, whether Zeman lied in an interview for Blesk.

Zeman said that he learned from inside of the BIS about the order of the counterintelligence chief Michal Koudelka to intercept his and his advisor’s communications. According to the, this would have been Martin Nejedlý’s. However, according to the president, he is only a marginal figure in this case. 

According to Zeman, his chancellor Vratislav Mynář witnessed the prime minister’s words about the end of wiretaps. However, yesterday before the government meeting, according to Deputy Prime Minister Alena Schillerová, Babiš refused. “The Prime Minister informed us that if he ever spoke to the president on this topic, no one but the two of them was present,” the Minister of Finance said after the government meeting.

However, the head of the presidential office confirms the words of his boss. “I was sitting at the conversation when this matter, which the President mentioned, was raised,” Mynář told Blesk and insists. However, he admitted that Zeman and Babiš could also have fun at other meetings, where both politicians meet and he is not present as chancellor. 

“All the meetings I have with the president are for four eyes. I rule out that something like this could take place in the presence of Mr. Mynář, ” Babiš said on ČT on Monday, thus denying Mynář’s presence at the mentioned meeting.

“We will not comment on the specific statement of the President of the Republic. In all cases, without exception, the BIS is governed by applicable laws, which apply equally to all citizens, “ the BIS said in a statement.