published: 19.10.2013, 13:34 | updated: 19.10.2013 13:37:21
Bratislava/Prague - Food mogul Andrej Babis, head of the Czech ANO movement, spied on an employee of a company for the StB Communist secret service, Slovak paper Sme writes today, referring to unpublished information from StB archives.
The latest polls say that Babis's extra-parliamentary ANO is standing a big chance of entering the Chamber of Deputies in the forthcoming early election with perhaps as many as 15 percent of votes.
Babis has denied the information on his collaboration with the StB and wants a Bratislava court to rule that he was recorded in StB files as an agent wrongly.
Babis has dismissed the latest news when speaking with the weekly Euro.
Sme writes that the cover name Bures, under which Babis was recorded in his StB file, is also in other documents of the institution.
The paper writes that Bures passed two reports on the operation code-named Oko (Eye) to the StB, it adds.
This arises from the file the StB established for Alexej Novak, an employee of the ZOZO Interal Bratislava firm, in 1982, Sme writes.
Novak came under the suspicion of economic crime, it adds.
Speaking for the Monday edition of the weekly Euro, quoted by the server E15, Babis repeated that he had never consciously collaborated with the StB and that the secret service had maintained the file with the cover name Bures in order to produce some activity.
"I do not know anything about the person named Alexej Novak. I absolutely deny that I provided any information on Novak to anyone," Babis is quoted by E15 as saying.
He said the information on his alleged collaboration with the StB was part of of the election struggle.
The content of the reports delivered by Babis to the StB is unknown because a major part of the Oko file was shredded, Sme writes.
"One can infer from the file that Bures passed the report to an StB case officer," Miroslav Lehky, former deputy chairman of the Czech Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regime (USTR), said.
Sme writes that the cover name Bures was also in another file, relating to the flat in which StB agents met their collaborators.
The National Memory Institute (UPN), that is in charge of the StB files in Slovakia, is facing a criminal complaint lodged by Babis who wants to have his name exonerated because he is in the archives filed registered as an StB agent.
Babis has conceded to having met StB members as a staffer of a foreign trade company under the Communist regime, but he has denied any collaboration with the institution.
Babis's lawyer Vladimir Ruman told Sme that the documents in question had no relevant value.
On Thursday, a Bratislava court adjourned the proceedings until the beginning of next year because the witnesses whom Babis wanted to be heard failed to turn up.
Babis is of Slovak ethnic origin.
It ensues from the file the StB kept on Babis that he was an informer of the StB from 1980 and in 1982 he became an StB agent. In the 1980s, Babis worked in the Petrimex foreign trade company. In 1985, the StB reportedly interrupted cooperation with him because he left for a long business trip to Morocco.
Babis has denied any wrongdoing and challenged the information from the file that the StB paid some refreshments to him.
Sme writes in its commentary that Babis's fortune was a typical postcommunist story as it was not due to any business talent and hard work, but due to an advantageous position of a man linked with the Communist establishment, ranging from the heads of the Communist companies to the regime's secret service.
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