Pavel ready to waive former Prague Castle Chancellor Mynář of his confidentiality obligation

Czechia’s President Petr Pavel said on Thursday that he would in principle be ready to wave the confidentiality obligation of his predecessor’s chancellor, Vratislav Mynář, the magazine Respekt reports. The statement was made in response to Czechia’s counter-intelligence service, BIS, asking for Mr Mynář to be relieved of the vow of secrecy in order to be able to investigate possible information leaks at Prague Castle during his tenure as head of the Office of the President.

Mr Pavel said that he has not yet been informed about whether Czech counterintelligence has sent such a request and that he is waiting for advice on how to proceed from the current head of security at the Office of the President, Mlada Princová. She has been looking into how things were approached regarding this issue during the previous administration.

According to Respekt and the daily Deník N, the previous president, Miloš Zeman, refused to wave the confidentiality obligation from Mr Mynář, which in turn prevented investigators from interrogating the former chancellor.

The whole investigation relates to statements made by the former president two years ago, when Mr Zeman told the daily Blesk that he had been visited by a BIS officer several years before who told him that the head of the counter-intelligence service, Michal Koudelka, had ordered that the phones of people close to him be tapped. Mr Zeman said that since he does not have a phone and uses those of his associates, the phone tapings are also related to him.

Mr Koudelka subsequently said that no high constitutional officials had been tapped during his tenure. The Standing Oversight Commission of the Chamber of Deputies, responsible for checking BIS procedures, investigated the former president’s allegations last year and reached the conclusion that there is no evidence for the counter-intelligence service having done anything illegal in this matter.