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Police carries out searches in Czech Defence Ministry

June 13, 2013, 14:52 UTC+3
Searches are being conducted in the part of the building where the military intelligence service is
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EPA/ITAR-TASS

EPA/ITAR-TASS

PRAGUE, June 13. /ITAR-TASS reporter Alexei Kartsev/. Members of the police unit for combating organised crime conduct searches in Czech Defence ministry headquarters, as confirmed by the Defence Ministry representative Mira Trebicka.

"I can confirm that in the ministry headquarters are working police officers from the unit for combating organised crime," she said, adding that they arrived to the building at 09:30 a.m. local time.

Searches are being conducted in the part of the building where the military intelligence service is, local mass media report. "At the moment I can only say that the operation is staged," said the spokesperson of  the unit for combating organised crime Pavel Chantak.

The large-scale operation was being prepared by the Czech Interior Ministry for about 2 years, during which the police wiretapped and recorded hundreds of phone conversations of officials, politicians and businessmen, TV station ČT24 reports. A number of politicians have already expressed surprise at the lack of response from Prime Minister Petr Necas.

The unit for combating organised crime in the Czech Republic was founded in 1995. Its objectives include combating corruption, trafficking arms and explosives, terrorism, and illegal migration. Robert Slachta heads the unit since 2008.

Earlier today the police officers of the unit for combating organised crime have arrested a number of members of the ruling Civic Democratic Party, as reported by local mass media.

Among the detained are the ex-chairman of the parliamentary group of the party, ex-minister Petr Tluchor, ex-minister of agriculture Ivan Fuchs, which is also a member of this party, as well as the former member of the lower house of parliament representing the Civic Democratic Party Mark Schneidr.

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