High-ranking Czech ministry official leaked classified information to Russian intelligence

Multiple Czech media outlets are reporting that a long-time employee of the Czech Foreign Ministry cooperated with the Russian intelligence service.

ČTK

Written by ČTK Published on 16.09.2022 07:33:00 (updated on 16.09.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

Prague, Sept 15 (ČTK) - A long-time employee of the Czech Foreign Ministry cooperated with the Russian intelligence service SVR, leaking secret information to the organization, the Czech server Deník N reported today. The reports were confirmed by Prime Minister Petr Fiala, Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský, and the Czech counter-intelligence service BIS.

Czech counter-intelligence first learned of the suspicious official, and monitored him for several years before bringing the case to Fiala and Lipavský in the first half of this year, Deník N wrote.

The official has been removed from the ministry, according to several Czech media outlets.

"I can confirm that I have taken steps that have resulted in an employee who cooperated with a foreign power not working at the ministry anymore. For security reasons, I will not comment further," Lipavský said.

The official had the highest security clearance, top secret level, Deník N reports, citing diplomatic sources. The server also reported that the official worked at the ministry from the 1990s and besides the Prague headquarters, he also worked at Czech embassies, including in an African country.

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“Russian intelligence exploited his weakness for women and money. Gradually, the Czech diplomatic worker began to demand information from Czech diplomacy, including classified information. He repeatedly accepted money for handing them over," said one of the server's diplomatic sources.

According to Deník N, BIS discovered that the SVR had a source of classified information at the Czech Foreign Ministry several years ago, and had identified and shadowed the source.

BIS spokesman Ladislav Šticha confirmed the leak and told Deník N that the BIS had been monitoring the activities of a Foreign Ministry employee in relation to the Russian intelligence service.

PM Fiala told Deník N he had been informed about the mole and that he appreciated the work of the secret services. "This proves that [Czech] security services work well and for the benefit of Czech citizens," he said.

It isn't clear whether police are now investigating or prosecuting the man over leaking information to Russia, now at war with Ukraine.

A high-ranking source from the Czech judiciary told Deník N N that legal action was unlikely.

"This cannot be done, because intelligence information is involved that cannot be presented in court. The current law does not enable it," the source, who requested anonymity, said.

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