Prague/Bratislava, December 11 (TASR) – My dispute over whether I’ll remain on the register of agents of the former secret police (StB) during Communism won’t end and will continue in Slovakia, said Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis on Tuesday in response to the fact that his complaint related to a previous court case in Slovakia has been rejected by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) based in Strasbourg.
“The ruling is now being studied by lawyers. The dispute won’t end and will continue in Slovakia, where I’ve won several times in court but the Constitutional Court overturned this for incomprehensible reasons,” Babis told website Blesk Zpravy on Tuesday.
According to historians and experts, the Czech premier was probably correctly listed as an StB agent, but Babis has been denying this for a long time. “The truth is on my side, and I’m convinced that I’ll win the dispute because I’ve never signed up for any cooperation,” said Babis.
Babis appealed to the ECHR on June 14, 2018. The content of the complaint submitted is unknown. In view of the character of the Strasbourg tribunal, he probably argued that his rights were violated during the proceedings before Slovak courts.
According to information available to Czech weekly Respekt, the ECHR ruled on November 20 that the complaint was “unacceptable”. Babis could now take further action in Slovakia in which, instead of Slovakia’s Nation’s Memory Institute (UPN), he’ll take the Slovak Republic to court via the Interior Ministry.
When Babis entered top politics in the Czech Republic, he tried to have his name removed from the Communist secret police database through Slovak courts.
He won the first instance proceedings, as the court took into account the testimony of former StB officers, who claimed either that Babis wasn’t an agent or that they didn’t remember anything.
However, their statements were challenged by fragments of 12 StB volumes that include records of an agent called ‘Bures’. Slovakia’s Nation’s Memory Institute (UPN) released StB records that referred to Babis as a collaborator with the Communist secret police under the same code name, and these records are considered by historians and experts on StB work to be much more trustworthy than the testimonies of former secret police members, noted Respekt.
The Slovak Constitutional Court eventually accepted this conclusion and ruled that the testimony of the former StB members can’t be considered credible in court. Babis then failed with his appeal at the final Slovak court of instance, the Supreme Court.
Babis immediately complained to the ECHR, but, according to Respekt, he’s seen his claims rejected again. An official report that Babis was unsuccessful with his appeal in Strasbourg is set to appear in the course of several weeks.