MfD: Czech diplomacy hiring former spies

Former intelligence service members are getting ambassadorial posts

Prague, April 4 (ČTK) The Czech state has started taking interest in what will be done by its veteran intelligence service employees, offering them posts in its diplomatic service, daily Mladá fronta Dnes (MfD) writes today.

This is exemplified by the case of Miroslav Toman, former deputy head of the Office for Foreign Relations and Information (ÚZSI), Czech intelligence service, who will become Czech ambassador to Afghanistan in the summer, MfD writes.

With a one-year delay, Toman will follow in the footsteps of his former superior, ÚZSI director Ivo Schwarz, who became ambassador to Israel last May, it adds, referring to two independent sources close to the Foreign Ministry.

The appointment is yet to be approved by the government, MfD writes.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Michaela Lagronová has declined to confirm the information.

However, Toman’s becoming a diplomat was indicated by Interior Minister Milan Chovanec (Social Democrats, CSSD) last August, MfD writes.

At first, Toman was seeking the post of Schwarz’s successor.

The diplomatic mission in Kabul usually only lasts two years due to the high security risk there. The post of ambassador to Afghanistan has been occupied by former ambassador to Georgia Miroslav Kosek since 2013.

Toman also had two more offers. He could either become head of the Czech consulate in Los Angeles or get a senior position in the CEZ national company in Turkey or in the Balkans, but he has refused the proposals.

He insisted on a more important post of ambassador. The Foreign Ministry complied with his request for good reasons, MfD writes.

Angering intelligence workers may cause large problems, it adds, citing the case of former ÚZSI head Karel Randák, it adds.

He was deposed by the center-right coalition government of Mirek Topolánek (Civic Democratic Party, ODS) in 2006 under the pretext that the ÚZSI will be merged with the counter-intelligence, but this has never happened, MfD writes.

Randák was later called the man who leaked to the media the compromising photos and videos featuring Topolánek on a holiday in Tuscany along with some Czech lobbyists and influential businessmen, it adds.

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