PRAGUE, May 6. /TASS/. Director of Czech Military Intelligence Jan Beroun did not confirm the reports about the alleged plans of First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Jan Hamacek to discuss an option to hush up the Vrbetice explosions case in exchange for Sputnik V vaccine shipments.
"Director Beroun confirmed that the issue of Mr. Hamacek’s visit to Moscow was discussed [during the April 15 meeting], but in no way confirmed that this trip could aim to trade with the Russian side on the Vrbetice incident," says Jana Cernochova, Deputy Chairwoman of the parliamentary commission on Military Intelligence oversight.
Earlier, the SeznamZpravy news website reported that Hamacek, who planned to visit Russia on April 19, intended to negotiate a hush-up of the Vrbetice explosions case in return for vaccine shipments and Russia’s agreement to hold a meeting between Presidents of Russia and the US in Prague.
Hamacek, who vehemently denied these reports, disclosed earlier that several meetings took place since April 14 with participation of security services’ heads, attorney general and Czech Ambassador to Moscow. According to the Minister of the Interior, the only topic of those meetings was the discussion of consequences of the Vrbetice explosions for the national security of the Czech Republic and its relations with Russia. Hamacek added that the possibility of "any trade with Russia" over the incident "has not been in discussion for even a moment." According to the First Deputy Prime Minister, such speculations "harm Czechia’s interests" and "play in favor of a foreign state."
He intends to bring the news website to responsibility and demand compensation for moral damage of about €400,000. The editor-in-chief, Jiri Kubik, insists that the stated facts are true and expressed his readiness to prove it in the court.
Meanwhile, the Czech National Center for Combating Organized Crime initiated an investigation over the SeznamZpravy report, the Center spokeswoman Katerina Rendlova said earlier.
"The National Center commenced the examination of details [of publication regarding] the alleged trip to Moscow, under its own initiative," she said, refraining from disclosing further details.