Prime Minister Stanislav Gross has denied that he formed special police teams as Interior Minister for political purposes.

Prime Minister Stanislav Gross acknowledged on Tuesday that several special police teams reported directly to him during his tenure as Czech interior minister, but denied suggestions in the media that he formed or exploited the teams for political gain. The daily Hospodarske noviny reported that one such police team, known as "Mlyn," or "the Mill," operated for two years in absolute secrecy and reported only to Mr Gross. Formed ahead of the 2002 general elections, the Mill team collected information about people close to former TV Nova director Vladimir Zelezny, for example, and to those handling finances for the national railways operator, Ceske drahy. Prime Minister Gross said that any suggestion he had used police teams to gather compromising information on rival politicians was "absolute nonsense."

Author: Brian Kenety