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Respekt in English14. 9. 20034 minuty

Committed Friend of the Chief of BIS

A great scandal is heading towards Jiří Růžek, the chief of BIS, because it has been revealed that up until last year, he was a partner of an agent of the Communist State Secret Police (StB) in a joint company.

A great scandal is heading towards Jiří Růžek, the chief of BIS, because it has been revealed that up until last year, he was a partner of an agent of the Communist State Secret Police (StB) in a joint company. „In my opinion, a man with such activities cannot be the head of the intelligence service,“ Jan Klas, the head of the Parliamentary Commission for Supervision over BIS, comments the past of Růžek.

Reliable and Universal

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Jiří Růžek started to do business in 1995 when he was still in the position of the chief of the Military Defense Intelligence Service and did not terminate these activities even four years later when he became the head of BIS. He terminated his engagement in the company called SUDA Investment only last year. During the whole period, Jaroslav Buriánek, an agent of the State Secret Police, was the corporate agent and thereafter the liquidator of the enterprise.

According to the period documents, the StB officers recruited Buriánek in May 1982. He worked at the presidium of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences as a research worker at that time. The document with the description of Buriánek reveals that he started to collaborate with the political police on the basis of ideological motives. In other words, he denunciated free of charge. He informed on the employees of the Academy and on the students who went abroad for study stays or research fellowships. Regrettably, the document does not reveal what information he exactly provided. He was giving reports to his controlling officer in person. The secret policemen verified the information from Buriánek and regarded him as a „reliable and universal“ agent.

After 1989, Buriánek started to do business. He co-owned or represented more than ten companies. His companies were engaged, for example, in health care, production of sportswear, forwarding and, above all, in real estate trade. According to the Companies' Register, even SUDA, the company of the Růžek brothers carried on the business of a real estate agency. The company had its registered office at the home address of Jiří Růžek but his neighbors do not have the faintest idea about the existence of this company. „The company never performed any activities,“ claims the director Růžek. „Mr. Buriánek is my legal representative and a manager of our family assets. I do not know that he was an agent of StB, and if he had been, then it is certainly no obstacle to my position. That is all. Goodbye,“ he ends the conversation.

He Will Explain

„I am not opposed to a high official doing some business, for example, holding some shares. But if Mr. Růžek started a company when he was the chief of intelligence service, he has things to explain. And if the information about the agent proves to be true, he has twice more things to explain,“ says Petr Nečas, the head of the Parliamentary Committee for Defense and Security. „If it is true, he must defend himself before the Commission for Supervision over BIS,“ he adds. Jan Klas, the head of the Commission for Supervision over BIS, is on a business trip to Spain. „As soon as I return, I will verify the whole matter. It seems inadmissible to me that a chief of any intelligence service could do business, moreover, with a former agent of StB,“ he says over a mobile telephone.

Jiří Růžek received a screening certificate from the National Security Office. And he received it in spite of having two considerable blots on his reputation. In 1995, he misused his position and fraudulently cajoled a withheld driving license from the police for his friend, who was caught driving drunk. In 2001, the daily newspaper MF Dnes discovered that Růžek had inherited half of a house in Wenceslas Square, a part of which was rented by a company called Happy Day for its casino. Special police forces were inquiring into the Happy Day company and its possible contacts to the Russian underworld in the nineties. The National Security Office (NSO) also had to find out that Růžek was a co-owner of SUDA Investment and that Buriánek was a former agent of StB. In spite of that, Růžek received the screening certificate. The NSO never provides information on the screening. And, of course, this case is no exception. Therefore the question, how it is possible to let a man with the past and contacts of Růžek pass the screening for the position of the head of intelligence service, has remained unanswered for the time being.

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