Harold Wilson Fernyhough an aide to Prime Minister Harold Wilson who was
reported to have spied for Czechoslovakia in the 1950’s and 1960s, was
very likely unaware that he was not associating with diplomats, but
communist secret police handlers, according to Czech archivist Svetlana
Ptáčníková, who heads the Security Services Archive, said that according to the secret police files Fernyhough shared information willingly, but without knowledge of who he was dealing with. The archivist noted that secret police handlers were often placed in diplomatic posts in order to acquire information.
According to the files Fernyhough never revealed anything confidential, only sharing information that was either common knowledge or was later made public.
Reports that Harold Wilson Fernyhough had spied for the Czechoslovak communist secret police appeared in the British press at the weekend.
The Czech Foreign Ministry has advised Czechs travelling to Great Britain
to take along their passports in order to avoid possible complications in
view of Brexit.
Martin Smolek, head of the ministry’s consular department told journalists that which it was still possible to travel to Britain on a citizen’s ID card the situation could change in time and in order to avoid possible complications with British immigration police it was advisable to carry a passport as well.
All other documents relating to stays in GB should remain valid until the end of October, Smolek said.
Another in a series of protest events against Prime Minister Andrej Babiš
is to take place on Prague’s Wenceslas Square on Tuesday evening. The
organizers say they expect 100,000 protesters, which would make it the
biggest public protest since the anti-communist demonstrations in 1989.
The initiative Million Moments for Democracy, which has organized weekly protests against the prime minister since the end of April, when the police proposed that he be charged with EU subsidy fraud, says that demonstrators will demand both the demise of both Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and Justice Minister Marie Benešová who was appointed just days after the police recommended that Prime Minister Andrej Babiš stand trial in a fraud case.
The head of the opposition Civic Democratic Party Petr Fiala has urged
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš to ask the lower house for a vote of
confidence in his minority government.
Mr. Fiala said that in view of the preliminary EU audit which claims the Czech prime minister has a conflict of interest it is essential to know whether the Babis government still has confidence and if so which parties support it.
The opposition centre right parties in the lower house have called for the EU audit to be discussed in a special session of the lower house, the immediate suspension of all further subsidies to Agrofert companies, for the Czech response to the European Commission’s audit to be drafted by government ministers who are not in the prime minister’s ANO party and for the audit to be made public.
Two Czechs serving six-year jail terms in Turkey for cooperating with the
Syrian Kurd militia YPG are in a good state, Czech MEP Tomáš Zdechovský,
who visited them last week, told the Czech News Agency. Diplomats from the
two countries are discussing the conditions and situations of Markéta
Všelichová and Miroslav Farkas.
The pair were arrested on the border between Turkey and Iraq in November 2016 after Turkish officers found materials on them that they said proved the pair were involved with the YPG, which Ankara considers a terrorist organisation. They are in prisons in different parts of Turkey.
The minister of justice, Marie Benešová, says she sees no reason not to
believe Prime Minister Andrej Babiš in his dispute with the European
Commission, which says in a preliminary audit that he is in conflict of
Speaking on TV station Prima, the minister said it was too soon to discuss possible damages stemming from the forced return of EU subsidies paid out to Agrofert, a company Mr. Babiš placed in trust funds, as the Commission has not issue a final version of the report.
Ms. Benešová said the prime minister had fulfilled legal requirements by putting Agrofert in trust funds.
The minister is seen as loyal to Mr. Babiš and there have been a series of protests demanding her removal since her appointment just over a month ago.
In a separate matter from the alleged conflict of interest, the police have recommended that Mr. Babiš face criminal charges of abusing CZK 50 million in EU subsidies in connection with a hotel and conference centre near Prague. Critics fear that Ms. Benešová may attempt to influence the case.
The supreme state attorney, Pavel Zeman, says the findings of a preliminary
European Commission audit, which states that Prime Minister Andrej Babiš
is in conflict of interest, are serious and could give rise to suspicion of
a criminal offence. He made the comment on Czech Television on Sunday.
Mr. Zeman said the Supreme State Attorney’s Office was preparing its own analysis of the report, which was published by Czech media outlets on Friday, and would reach conclusions in a fortnight or three weeks.
The European Commission document says that Mr. Babiš has command of trust funds that control the Agrofert group. He put the conglomerate into those trust funds two years ago to comply with a new conflict of interest law.
The Commission says that all EU subsidies received by Agrofert since should be returned. It has put at CZK 450 million the figure that the Czech state should demand the return of from the group started by Babiš. He denies any wrongdoing.
Czech tennis player Markéta Vondroušová has reached the fourth round of
a Grand Slam tournament for the first time. The 19-year-old swept aside
Anastasija Sevastova in the third round of the French Open in Paris on
Sunday, beating the Latvian 6-2 6-0 in under an hour. Her next opponent
will be Petra Martic of Croatia, who earlier knocked out Karolína
The Czech Republic’s Kateřina Siniaková is also into the fourth round at Roland Garros.
A 38-year-old Czech woman was killed in a shooting incident in Zurich, Switzerland on Friday. She and a Swiss woman of 34 were kidnapped by a Swiss man, aged 60, who threatened to kill them. When police managed to enter the apartment where the incident was taking place they found all three people dead. A Swiss news website said that the Swiss woman had been romantically involved with the man; when she left him, she had moved in with the Czech woman, who worked as a carer.