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Files of Slovak communist agents still in Czech Republic

TWENTY FIVE years have passed since the end of the Communist Party’s rule in Czechoslovakia, but some people who were informants for the infamous communist secret police - Štátna Bezpečnosť (ŠtB) - continue to hold important posts in Slovakia. Slovakia’s National Memory Institute (ÚPN), which administers the files of former communists, maintains that many documents are still located in the Czech Republic and that it has encountered difficulty in obtaining certain files.

TWENTY FIVE years have passed since the end of the Communist Party’s rule in Czechoslovakia, but some people who were informants for the infamous communist secret police - Štátna Bezpečnosť (ŠtB) - continue to hold important posts in Slovakia. Slovakia’s National Memory Institute (ÚPN), which administers the files of former communists, maintains that many documents are still located in the Czech Republic and that it has encountered difficulty in obtaining certain files.

An agreement with the Czech Republic to provide files to Slovakia, dating back to 2007, has not yet been fulfilled, the Sme daily reported on September 22. This situation represents a security risk for Slovakia, as it does not have access to information based on which specific people could be extorted.

The Czech Republic, however, claims that it has provided Slovakia with everything that it could and that the process of providing the archives has been completed, the Director of the Security Services Archive in the Czech village of Kanice, Svetlana Ptáčniková, told Sme.

The Czech side provides information or copies of files only when requested from the Slovak side, even though Slovakia had sought original copies of the files. Despite this, the Slovak Defence Ministry claims that everything has gone according to plan.

“The documents were received in the agreed upon way,” said Defence Ministry spokesperson Martina Balleková, as quoted by Sme. “It [the process] has not been slowed down by any barriers from the involved bodies of the Czech Republic.”

However, the ÚPN, which administers files, says there have been barriers, noting that the Czech Republic archived its files in a way that violated the 2007 agreement, and considers them to be its own property.

“The files are located in the Security Services Archive in Kanice,” said Tibor Ujlacký, the spokesperson for the ÚPN, as quoted by Sme. “All discussions with representatives of The Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes [in the Czech Republic] have failed.”

The Czech archives facility claims that the files are not in Kanice and that it would be impossible to provide only the documents that are directly connected to Slovakia since they cannot be easily separated from other documents.

The ÚPN has already sought help from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is the guarantor of meeting international agreements. ÚPN head Ondrej Krajňák has asked Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák for a meeting as well, but it has not taken place yet.

(Source: Sme)

Compiled by Roman Cuprik from press reports
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