The Castle prematurely shredded more documents, except Vrbětice

Petr Hloušek

In the autumn of 2020, the Presidential Office shredded not only the document concerning Russia’s involvement in the explosion of the ammunition depots in Vrbětice but also two other materials. These were to be destroyed outside the shredding procedure and before the so-called shredding deadline began to run.

The iRozhlas server reported the other shredding on Tuesday, referring to a recent investigation by the National Security Office (NSA), obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

“Both classified documents were destroyed before their shredding period started,” adding that the destruction of the materials took place outside of the shredding procedure. The shredding period sets a time limit after which documents cannot be destroyed.

Referring to Tomáš Bezouška from the Institute for Document Management, the server said that premature shredding is dealt with in the Archives Act and may constitute at least a misdemeanor.

The Castle did not comment on the reasons for the shredding. According to the minutes of the meeting, the documents had the working title “analysis of the situation – background” was created at the Castle, and their content is unknown. The former head of the Security Information Service (BIS), Jiří Rom, was supposed to have been involved in their preparation. He was employed at the Castle in 2020.

President Miloš Zeman has long made no secret of his negative attitude towards the work of the BIS and his animosity towards its head, Michal Koudelka, whom he has repeatedly refused to promote to the rank of general.

Among other things, Rom was supposed to prepare material for the president, proving that Koudelka was not a good manager.