Politicians and journalists may have tapped phone lines

The Minister of the Interior, Ivan Langer, revealed on Wednesday morning that the conversations of about twenty politicians and journalists are being bugged in connection with an investigation into the leak from an internal report by Jan Kubice, the head of the country's organized crime unit. Mr. Langer says that the police are likely listening in locations at the lower house of parliament, at the Ministry of the Interior, in the building of Czech Radio, and in some private locations. Politicians are reacting strongly to the news. Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek said that once again, "governing politicians are victims of spying," while Jiri Paroubek, the Social Democratic leader and former prime minister said that Mr. Langer is lying.

The rules governing surveillance involving eavesdropping are set by the criminal code of the Czech Republic and the laws governing police conduct. Judges decide on the admission of tapes in cases where evidence is gathered without a person's knowledge.