Controversial individuals to lead key Czech security bodies

  • Tomáš Hošek
  • 1.12.2017 18:16

On Monday 29 November, the winner of the Czech October parliamentary election Andrej Babis confirmed his nomination of Lubomir Metnar as the Interior Minister. Until recently, Metnar had been a member of a radical pro-Russia movement called Security, Responsibility, Solidarity (BOS). Other controversial individuals connected to high-ranking security positions are Radek Koten, chairman of the security committee, and Zdenek Ondracek, presiding over the Commission for controlling the activities of the General Inspection of Security Forces (GIBS).

Czech withdrawal from the EU and NATO is one of BOS's priorities. Metnar however stated in an interview that he left BOS this summer due to “people with various opinions” taking over the movement, called the issue of leaving the EU and NATO “nonsense” and even stood up for the Centre Against Terrorism and Hybrid Threats which aims to counter disinformation. On 30 November, MPs from the ANO and SPD movements and the Communist Party (KSČM) approved Radek Koten as a chairman of the parliamentary security committee. Koten has been a member of various pro-Russian and anti-Islamic groups on Facebook and has a history of sharing conspiracy and disinformation articles. The parliamentary voting coalition of Babis's ANO movement with the far-right SPD and communists is further illustrated by electing Zdenek Ondracek (KSČM) to the chairmanship of a parliamentary commission for controlling GIBS activities. As a member of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic’s regular police force, Ondracek worked against anti-regime demonstrators in 1989 and infamously confessed to beating protesting women with a baton.

About author: Tomáš Hošek

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