The ANO movement continues to criticize the Minister of the Interior Víto Rakušan (STAN). On Tuesday in the House of Representatives, the head of the movement, Andrej Babiš, beat the Austrian over the encrypted phone and the Dosimeter case.
Today, Babiš sent a letter to Prime Minister Fiala and asks for a personal meeting.
“I would like to ask you for a joint discussion regarding the continued stay of Víto Rakušan in the position of Minister of the Interior of the Czech Republic,” wrote Babiš in a letter that is available to Nauzal. In a few paragraphs, he explains the reasons why, in his opinion, the Austrian should quit.
At the end of the letter, Fialu informs about the intention of the ANO movement to call for a vote of no confidence in the government in the following days.
“The media mistakenly interpreted the announced deadline as an ultimatum, it is not the case. Our goal was to create a space for joint negotiations, where we would clearly explain our position and present arguments,” adds Babiš. He is convinced that Fiala will then come to the opinion that the Austrian minister can no longer remain in office.
The editors are checking with the prime minister whether he will accept Fiala Babiš.
But Prime Minister Fiala already told Seznam Zprávám on Monday that the Austrian has his trust.
“I have no reason not to trust him. The fact that someone has some kind of secure communications tool is not in itself illegal or immoral. The problem would probably be if he carried out illegal activities through such a phone. But I have no information about such behavior of the minister,” he said.
Minister of the Interior Vít Rakušan commented on Babiš’s accusations in an interview he gave to journalists on Tuesday afternoon in the Chamber of Deputies. He will consider legal action due to allegations that he was in contact with the outgoing director of Czech Television about the Dosimeter. “I never spoke to the director of Czech Television and I never told him what program should or should not be broadcast,” said the Austrian.
In my 13 years in politics, I have an absolutely clear conscience, and it would be very nice if all politicians could say that.
He added that he still has the encrypted phone. It also served as a toy for his children. “It doesn’t matter at all what phone someone is on the phone with. It matters who you talk to and what you deal with. And in this regard, I have an absolutely clear conscience in my 13 years in politics, and it would be very nice if all politicians could say that,” said the Austrian.
He also defended himself against the criticism of Babiš.
“It seems absolutely absurd to me that a person who wanted to control Čepro with (Radovan) Krejčíř is now surprised that someone used the same mobile application as Krejčíř’s “holding bag”. Someone who had business ties with (Marian) Kočner in Slovakia will now call for some morality,” responded the Minister of the Interior to Babiš’s criticism.
ANO officials announced on Tuesday that they will start collecting MP signatures next week to call the Chamber of Deputies for a vote of no confidence in the government if Prime Minister Fiala does not respond to information that the Austrian was in possession of an encrypted phone.
Fiala told the opposition that the ownership of such a device cannot be a reason for the dismissal of a member of the government. The Austrian called the call of ANO representatives a farce.
The server iDNES.cz wrote a few days ago that the Austrian asked for an encrypted phone after the elections to the House of Representatives in the fall of 2021 of the then vice-chairman of the STAN movement and a long-time user of the device, Stanislav Polčák.
The Austrian bought the device because of a “real suspicion” that someone was eavesdropping on the office premises. According to him, the information from the meetings in the office reached the public space very quickly, although there were a minimum of people at them. At the weekend, he added that when the government of Petr Fiala (ODS) was formed, there were fears of espionage by the security division of Agrofert, which belongs to the trust funds of the previous Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO).