23.01.2007 – Eurasian Security Services Daily Review

CIA secret flights report approved by European committee
Poland removed from list of secret CIA prisons locations
Former Czech BIS counterintelligence officer suspected of murdering entrepreneur Frantisek Mrazek
Archbishop in Slovakia Jan Sokol denies having served as Communist spy
Kosovo ex-Prime Minister Bajram Rexhepi reports on security situation
Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council Secretary on working visit to United States
Russia’s FSB continues to pursue criminal case against Boris Berezovsky
Litvinenko’s poisoners first tried to murder him in October, 2006
Security Council of Abkhazia discussed operational readiness of armed forces and security services
Persons detained in Azerbaijan belonged to same network with GRU agents arrested in Georgia
Azerbaijan experts doubt of Armenian secret services participation in breaking country’s public TV online site
Kazakh parliament unhappy with phone tapping law
Mossad ex-officials’ partner, Russian-Israeli billionaire Arkadi Gaydamak, not being probed by police

CIA secret flights report approved by European committee

Jas Gawronski  

A special committee of the European Parliament today approved a report alleging Britain, Poland, Germany, Italy and other EU nations were aware of secret CIA flights over Europe and the abduction of terror suspects by US agents into clandestine detention centers. According to Italian conservative Jas Gawronski, the draft version of the report by the parliament’s temporary committee the CIA affair is “weak on facts and analysis” and “gives no direct proof” that EU member states have condoned a violation of human rights by the US intelligence agency, EU Observer says. “The entire committee has been useless”, Gawronski told the paper, questioning the year-long hunt for hard evidence on CIA activities in Europe.
The report, the conclusion to a year of investigation by the committee into questionable CIA activities in Europe, also accuses EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana and other high-ranking officials of not co-operating with the investigation and not revealing all they know about the US secret detention programme.
In a crucial amendment pushed through by conservative politicians, the report says that, based on the evidence gathered during the investigation, it was not possible to prove that CIA secret prisons were based in Poland, an allegation that prompted the probe in November 2005. Human Rights Watch later identified Poland and Romania as possible locations of the alleged secret prisons, but both countries have repeatedly denied involvement. An investigator for the Council of Europe, a leading human rights group, said evidence pointed to the likelihood that planes linked to the CIA stopped in Romania and Poland and dropped off detainees there, according to The Guardian.

Poland removed from list of secret CIA prisons locations
Poland has been crossed out of the list of the countries which might have hold secret prisons of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Polskie Radio reports today. The commission of the European Parliament, created to investigate the issue, admitted in its report that it can’t be asserted that the CIA secret prisons had been located in Poland. In that way the members of the European Parliament decided to cross out the statement, initially included in the report that a secret location of detention of terrorism suspects might have been located in Poland. Then the members of the European Parliament alleged that such placement was located in Stary Kiejkuty, radio says.

Former Czech BIS counterintelligence officer suspected of murdering entrepreneur

  Frantisek Mrazek

Former Czech BIS civilian counter-intelligence officer nicknamed “Chemist” could be the murderer of controversial entrepreneur Frantisek Mrazek, according to one investigation version, the daily Mlada fronta Dnes wrote in its yesterday’s issue. Mrazek who was connected with influential economic groups was shot dead by a contract killer at the beginning of 2006.
The version according to which it was the former BIS officer who made the shooting does not give the police much chance of finding out who ordered the murder because if it was really the former officer he only survived his victim by a couple of hours, Mlada fronta Dnes writes. The former anti-drug squad and BIS officer was found dead with a bullet in his head two days after Mrazek´s death near a petrol station in Prisovice, the Liberec area, north Bohemia, news agency CTK explains. Police suspect him of having contacts with the Albanian criminal groups. According to the paper, the same Albanians were often seen in the past near controversial businessman Radovan Krejcir who escaped the Czech police during a search of his luxury villa near Prague in June 2005 and fled abroad. Krejcir who is being prosecuted in the Czech Republic mainly for a three billion customs debt that arose in the import of oil products and an attempt at a complex fraud against the state-run company Cepro fled for the Seychelles.
According to one of the investigation versions, Krejcir´s Albanian “friends” selected “Chemist” as the contract killer in the case of Mrazek and then killed him to cover up the traces, Mlada fronta Dnes writes. Krejcir could have the reason to order the murder, the paper says. According to it, Krejcir blamed Mrazek for the death of his father Lambert Krejcir and for informing the police about Krejcir´s fraud in the case of Cepro.
However, this is only a working version since there is still no proof, the paper says. Police shelved the case of Mrazek´s murder after 11 months of investigation. However, a special police team called Pokr continues investigating the case as part of the investigation of another 35 murders and suspicious deaths that could be linked to Mrazek´s activities, Mlada fronta Dnes writes.

Archbishop in Slovakia denies having served as Communist spy
Jan Sokol, the controversial archbishop of the Bratislava and Trnava diocese, has mounted a defense against persistent accusations that he collaborated with the Communist-era StB secret service, weekly The Slovak Spectator reports.
Archbishop’s office in Trnava has released documents that it claims seriously undermine accusations that the Archbishop of the Bratislava-Trnava diocese co-operated with the StB. Sokol himself insists that he never collaborated with the StB in any way, though according to documents stored in the Nation’s Memory Institute’s archive he worked as a StB agent.
The archbishop is currently receiving treatment in hospital, and will remain there for around two weeks. According to the information provided, Sokol is prepared to talk to journalists and answer questions concerning himself and the StB as soon as he recovers. Sokol has also received the full support of Cardinal Jan Chryzostom Korec, who has said that he – as a bishop under the Communist regime – never had any doubts as to Sokol’s loyalty to the Church.

Kosovo ex-Prime Minister reports on security situation
Kosovo minister Bajram Rexhepi reported in front of the Parliament on the security situation in the country yesterday, Kosova Press says. Police is proving capabilities to receive responsibilities for law protection, Rexhepi already said earlier last week.
Bajram Rexhepi is considered as a moderate politician and was the first post-war Prime Minister of Kosovo (March 2002-December 2004).

Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council Secretary on working visit to United States
Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (SNBO), Vitaly Gaiduk, is paying a working visit to the United States America on January 21-23, 2007, council’s press service says in its latest release.
RBC-Ukraine, referring to the press service, reports that the SNBO head, except for negotiations with the US President’s National Security Adviser Stephen Hadly, is also to meet with the representatives of the White House, the US Congress, USA, the State Department, the Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Defence. Gaiduk is going to meet also representatives of leading analytical establishments – Heritage Foundation and the Centre of Strategic and International Researches, and also the heads of the United States’ Ukrainian community. Among the subjects of negotiations between the Ukrainian and American sides officials and leading experts will become questions of bilateral relations, the international and regional problems, and also the energy’s security issues.

Russia’s FSB continues to pursue criminal case against Berezovsky

Berezovsky holds a Putin’s photo  

The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) has refuted a statement by lawyer Andrei Borovkov that a criminal case on charges of attempting to seize power by force against businessman Boris Berezovsky was suspended, news agency Interfax reports. Berezovsky fled to the UK in 2000 to escape fraud charges and was granted political refugee status there.
“The statement that a criminal case on charges provided by Articles 278 and 280, attempts to seize power by force and public appeals for extremist activity respectively, made by Borovkov and disseminated by a number of media organizations, has nothing to do with the reality,” Interfax cites a representative of the FSB public relations centre.
The investigation of the case against fugitive businessman Boris Berezovsky on charges of plotting a coup in Russia continues, news agency RIA Novosti reports today, referring to the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office. “The Federal Security Service Investigations Department continues to pursue the criminal case against Boris Berezovsky on charges of attempting to seize power by force, violating the Russian Constitution, and using the mass media to call for extremist actions,” the news agency cites the Press service of the Prosecutor General’s Office.
Yesterday, a lawyer for Berezovsky, Andrei Borovkov, said that prosecutors had put his client’s case on hold, news agencies reported.
Russian prosecutors opened a criminal case against Berezovsky, 60, after he told radio Ekho Moskvy in January 2006 that the current Russian President had violated the Constitution, and that any violent action on the opposition’s part would be justified.

Litvinenko’s poisoners first tried to murder him in October, 2006
The former Russian officer Alexander Litvinenko, who died two months ago in London, may have survived a first attempt to poison him with radioactive polonium-210 in mid-October, the BBC says after an independent research. A documentary broadcast on the BBC yesterday the first poison bid may have come two weeks before he met Mario Scaramella in a sushi bar on 1 November, when the ex-officer met two countrymen at the same bar. Traces of the poison were discovered not where Litvinenko and Scaramella sat, but elsewhere in the restaurant, most likely where Litvinenko met the Russians. It was widely reported that Scaramella had tested positive for polonium. But Panorama has discovered that his initial test results were inaccurate.
Panorama found Mikhail Trepashkin, a jailed former officer with the Russian secret service, who was ordered to monitor Mr Litvinenko in 2001.
The programme also visited Laboratory Number 12 in Moscow. An anonymous ex-Soviet intelligence officer said: “It’s the laboratory that every year gets its budget to work with radioactive poisons.”

Security Council of Abkhazia discussed operational readiness of armed forces and security services
The condition of operational readiness of units and divisions of the Armed Forces and the Ministry of Interior of the self-proclaimed republic of Abkhazia was discussed yesterday by participants of the regular session of the Security Council of Abkhazia, news agency Regnum reports.
According to the chief of the department of governmental information of Abkhazia, Christian Bzhaniya, special concern was expressed during the meeting in connection with the growing tension in Gali district of Abkhazia. Members of the Security Council of Abkhazia claimed that the growing tension is related to the provocative actions of the Georgian side, destabilizing situation in the region.
Vice President of Abkhazia, Raul Khadzhimba, Speaker of the National Assembly of Abkhazia, Nuzgar Ashuba, Prime Minister Alexander Ankvab, Secretary of the Security Council, Stanislav Lakoba, head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sergey Shamba, Chairman of the State Security Service of Abkhazia, Yury Ashuba, acting Minister of Defense, Merab Kishmariya, Interior Minister, Otar Khetsiya, and Ruslan Kishmariya, the representative of de-facto Abhkaz President in Gali district, participated at the meeting.

Persons detained in Azerbaijan belonged to same network with GRU agents arrested in Georgia
The group of persons, arrested last week by the Ministry of National Security of Azerbaijan, belonged to human intelligence of the Russian secret services, online paper Novy region reports, referring to the Baku-based daily Yeni Musavat. According to the paper, those persons belonged to the same network with the arrested recently in Georgia of the Russian military intelligence (GRU) agents, and this fact is an evidence of proceeding opposition in region between the security services of the US and Russia.
On January 14, staff officers of the Ministry of National Security of Azerbaijan neutralized a criminal group of 17 persons, the online paper says. Four members of the group were arrested, the others detained as suspects. Names and citizenship of the members of the group is not revealed, because of continuation of operatively-search actions.

Azerbaijan experts doubt of Armenian secret services participation in breaking country’s public TV online site

  Hackers’ statement 

A statement presented as an announcement of the secret services of Armenia was placed on the online site of the Azerbaijan Public TV last weekend. The statement contained threat of physical destruction of the Azerbaijan hacker cracking the Armenian sites, saying “it was the last warning”, Analitika.az reports. The so-called war of hackers between Armenia and Azerbaijan is not a new phenomenon and has been proceeding for 10 years with variable success and is accompanied by campaigns in the mass media of two countries.
The site of the Azerbaijan public television has not been cracked in the literally sense of this word, Bakililar.Az reports. It is marked that under the term of breaking, use of technical weaknesses in a hosting of a website and/or its software usually is considered. However, in this case, access to the management of the domain was received by a method of breaking of a mailbox on the yahoo.com, where the data on management of the hosting of the Azerbaijan Public TV was stored, ArmInfo says.
Emin Guseinov, information technologies expert, expressed doubts in participation of the Armenian secret services in this attack, first of all because of elementary mistakes in the text of the message, and secondly, as it contained warning of an intention to physically liquidate someone, that secret services usually do not do. A source, close to the secret services, informed the ArmInfo on similar conclusions.
Grigor Saginian, technical director of the largest in Armenia Internet provider, Arminco, considers that it is easy to accuse the Armenian party of hacking while it is much more difficult to provide a sufficient level of safety of a site. “In Azerbaijan there are good experts, and I am surprised to that the site, which is called to broadcast from the US for the whole world, was not provided with a high technological level.” Saginian pointed out that Armenia and Azerbaijan had collided with similar situation in 2000, when a large number of sites of both countries was intercepted by hackers.

Kazakh parliament unhappy with phone tapping law
Members of Kazakhstan’s parliament have asked for revisions to a bill that would allow phone tapping to be used in police investigations, IWPR online site reports. The deputies have objections to parts of the proposed legislation which they feel would run contrary to the country’s constitution and would be in breach of fundamental human rights.
On January 17, the Majilis or lower house of parliament reviewed a proposal to legalize the use of phone surveillance and tracking devices in investigations concerning people suspected of, or already indicted for, crimes of “medium gravity”. The law’s authors say that it is this middle category of offences, which account for the bulk of crimes committed in Kazakhstan, where the current legislation governing investigations is least effective. However, members of parliament decided not to pass the bill, which has had a hostile reaction from the public, and instead sent it back to be rewritten.
Both legislators and human rights activists explain that in their view, the planned law would contradict a clause in the constitution that guarantees the inviolability of personal life, private correspondence and phone conversations, and the sanctity of the home, IPWR says.
Member of parliament Valery Doskalov said that if the phone-tap law is designed to help counter terrorism, then it should define clearly the circumstances in which investigative agencies are allowed to resort to such methods.
Kazakhstan’s human rights ombudsman Bolat Baikadamov notes that the legislation envisages the new job of surveillance agent tasked with bugging phones and watching suspects – but it does not set out the rules such personnel would be required to operate by, according to Baikadamov warned that the legislation would facilitate “total surveillance”, which could also be exploited for illegal purposes. In addition, he noted with concern that the use of surveillance methods would be extended from serious crime and terrorism to include “medium gravity” offences.

Mossad ex-officials’ partner, Russian-Israeli billionaire, not being probed by police

Arkadi Gaydamak  

Russian-Israeli billionaire Arkadi Gaydamak is not the subject of any criminal investigation, an Israel Police official told The Jerusalem Post. The surprising revelation comes nearly eight months after investigators recommended that Gaydamak be charged in connection with his alleged laundering of some $50 million through a Tel Aviv branch of Bank Hapoalim. Gaydamak went on the offensive during the alleged money laundering investigation by publicly accusing Police Investigations and Intelligence chief Yohanan Danino of conducting a personal crusade against him.
The revelation that Gaydamak is “clean” seems counter-intuitive to public perceptions of the widely popular, yet shady, businessman. In December 2000, Gaydamak fled France, where he was wanted for illegal gun running, tax evasion, money laundering and corruption allegations. French authorities had alleged that Gaydamak – who holds Russian, Canadian, Angolan and Israeli passports – was hiding behind Israel’s financial privileges for immigrants to protect his assets and avoid prosecution.
For his part, Gaydamak who has never been convicted of a crime has maintained that he amassed his fortune on the Russian stock market. Among other business deals, he teamed up with former Mossad secret service officials Dany Yatom and Avi Dagan to form a private military company called the Strategic Consulting Group.

Check Also

As Right-Wing Extremism Rises, Jihadism Still Persists

Six separate terrorist attacks took place in Europe between late September and late November of …