Castle protocol chief’s makes obscure exit |

Castle protocol chief’s makes obscure exit

Jana Havligerová

After starting out as a mere hard-working novice in the Castle’s Office of Protocol in 2002, he became pretty much indispensable. Impressively, he has served all the post-revolution presidents during state visits and official occasions.

“The best director of protocol which the Czech Republic has had in the past 100 years,” was the assessment of Jindřich Forejt given three years ago by ex-President Václav Klaus. And Klaus’s successor, Miloš Zeman, went even further. During a visit to the Vatican he introduced Forejt to Pope Francis as “this most important, deeply faithful person and, I hope, our future ambassador to the Vatican”.

Those searching the Castle for Forejt will, however, no longer find him there, going by the words of the president’s spokesperson. He has, apparently, unspecified health problems and also plenty of accumulated days off which he must take. As for the diplomatic posting to the Vatican, that would seem to be done for.

The news that Forejt’s office at the Castle has been sealed arrived just over a week ago. Prior to its emergence, there was mounting speculation that staff surrounding the head of state were not all pulling on the same cord. And that the ever-present head of protocol was in serious conflict with other colleagues close to Zeman.

In the past when Forejt was out of bounds, it was overlooked. He boasted that he was a doctor of law, but he’d never gained any such title. On his resumé, he stated that he had graduated from Prague’s Charles University [UK] and Munich’s Ludwig-Maxmilians Universität. But he did not complete his UK law studies and he was never listed as a full-time student at the Munich institution.

Media have lately brought attention to the existence of a video in which Forejt is purportedly caught taking drugs. The Castle refused to comment on the matter.

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