The Babiš case: claim and counterclaim
Historians - the first to express scepticism over the claim - believe that this thesis is simply not credible. Former colleagues of the communist era counter-intelligence captain, Andrej Kuľ ha, who was tasked with overseeing Babiš’s dossier, have been reluctant to speak about the case - until now.
The wall of silence from former StB members is thus beginning to crumble. This publication’s sister weekly Euro has managed to obtain a statement from Kuľha’s superior on the controversy. He vociferously denied that under his leadership documents could have been manipulated, and stood by a colleague whom archive sources suggest was the man that obtained the services of Babiš as a secret police informant.
“I rule out any kind of manipulation (of documents) during my time there. It is simply not possible,“ the source, a former top officer in the Slovak branch of the Department for the Protection of Economic Interests of the National Security Corp’s (SNB’s) 12th bureau, told Euro. The source, who asked to not be identified, served as Kuľ ha’s superior from 1988-1989. During its investigation, Euro was able to verify that this security official was who he claimed to be.
The former SNB major also jumped to the defence of another former member of the security services, Július Šuman, named by Kuľha as the person who falsified the dossier on Babiš. “During the period that I came to know Šuman, I just cannot conceive that he would be capable of doing something like that,“ our source said, pointing to directives that governed contacts with the StB’s network of informants - these, he argued, virtually ruled out the kind of falsification claimed by Kul’ha.
The top StB source expressed reluctance to comment on the Babiš dossier itself, stating that it was filed in the archives prior to his arrival at the relevant department. But he was emphatic that Kuľ ha’s allegations about falsification should not be taken seriously. “My task was to make sure people were devoted to their work, and not intrigue. Mr. Kuľ ha had glaring deficiencies in his work. He was the type of person that would not hesitate to misuse information for their own gain,“ claimed the source.
Across last week, Kuľha confirmed to journalists that he stood by his claims of widescale manipulation of informant dossiers.The contrary claims can perhaps be credited to a personal quarrel between Kul’ha and his superior, which culminated around a year before the Velvet Revolution. Euro notes that Kul’ha had serious disputes with Šuman and also with the commanding officer of the department Milan Jurka.
From Kul’ha’s side came accusations of the manipulation of records - specifically the dossier of one so-called candidate for covert co-operation (people with whom the StB planned to form a working relationship).
“Comrade Jurka used Comrade Šuman (the officer who kept the dossier on a candidate for secret cooperation codenamed Bauer] for the worst kind of deception and Jurka used unacceptable and illegal methods to breach the norms of the undisputed command authority afforded to the chief,“ Kul’ha wrote in an appeal in December, 1988, today found in the archives of the Slovak Nation’s Memory Institute (ÚPN). Jurka wrote a report on the incident, denying any kind of intervention in the records.