16.05.2007 Eurasian Secret Services Daily Review

REVIEW TOPICS:
Turkmenistan’s new President sacks long-serving Security Service chief
Ukrainian speaker to demand that President nominate candidate to head Security Service
Personnel replacements in Ukraine’s SBU to be continued
Poland to screen communist secret services files again, party representatives and President decide
Security services unable to find Karadzic and Mladic in Bosnia
Cabinet deal in Serbia clears way for security services reform
Discussion on phone tapping going on in Romanian parliament
Some military intelligence records to be declassified in Romania

Turkmenistan’s new President sacks long-serving Security Service chief

   
   
 

Lieutenant-General Akmurad Redzhepov, chief of the Security Service of the President of Turkmenistan, is dismissed, news agency RIA Novosti reports, referring to Turkmen TV. In Turkmenistan Redzhepov was called the Grey Cardinal of late President Saparmurat Niyazov.
It is reported that Redzhepov was dismissed “in connection with transition to other job”, however, his new post has not been named.
Almost 17 years Redzhepov held a post of the Security Service of the country’s first President. At the end of the 1980s he was a KGB special assignments officer attached to the First Secretary of the Central Committee of Communist Party of the Turkmen SSR, Saparmurat Niyazov.
In 1991 the Security Service of the President headed by Redzhepov received the status of a special service and the right to conduct operatively and search activity. In 1993 he became a Major-General, then he got the rank of the Lieutenant-General. After unsuccessful attempt on the country’s President, Redzhepov was degraded, however was shortly restored in his rank, online paper Newsru.com expands.
Moreover, Redhepov managed to his people on key posts in all power structures. The Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Interior at the moment of Niyazov’s death were headed by the former employees of the presidential bodyguard service, not staff militaries and militiamen, online paper marks.
It is considerd that after Niyazov’s sudden death, Redhepov was among those high-ranking officials who put forward the then Vice-Premier Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov to the post of the Turkmen President. According to other versions, Redzhepov himself could become Niyazov’s successor, but for some reasons had not wanted or could not head the country. Last month, the new President of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, removed Interior Minister Akmamed Rakhmanov from his post allegedly for shortcomings in work, online paper adds. “[This could be] an attempt by the present leadership — namely the President, the defense minister, and the interior minister — to protect themselves against any surprises from [Akmurad] Redzhepov,” Radio Free Europe cites regional expert Artem Ulunyan, who is a professor at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Universal History. He says Redzhepov’s transfer [to a different post] could be, not so much a promotion, but in fact a demotion to an insignificant and purely pompous post, as is customary in authoritarian or totalitarian regimes. According to available information, Redzhepov’s resignation was preceded by an arrest of one Murad Agayev, 36, owner of the Oriental company and businessman associated with Rejepov, Moscow’s Vremya novostei writes. Having Redzhepov removed, the new President of Turkmenistan strengthened his own positions.

Ukrainian speaker to demand that President nominate candidate to head Security Service
Alexander Moroz, Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada (parliament) chairman, has said he will send a letter to the President urging him to submit a candidate for the position of Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) head to the parliament for consideration, news agency Interfax reports.
Speaking at a plenary parliamentary session today, Moroz noted that a person can temporarily serve as chairman of a service or agency for two months. The law stipulates that the head of the State Security Service is appointed by the parliament following a nomination by the President. Moroz said he would send a letter to the President to demand that he nominated a candidate for this post.

Personnel replacements in Ukraine’s SBU to be continued 

   
   
   

President of Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko, appointed Alexander Skipalsky the deputy head of the f Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), news agencies are reporting today. AIA wrote already that several days ago, on May 12, Yushchenko dismissed Skipalsky from the post of the deputy head of the SBU, having liquidated overlapping of a post of the deputy head of the agency with the post of the head of the SBU directorate in Donetsk area. Now President has transferred Alexander Skipalsky to Kiev, having appointed to the empty post after Gennady Moskal’s dismissal.
In 2004 Skipalsky worked with the presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko as the chief of his protection service. During the Orange revolution Skipalsky was among the first who signed the appeal to the people, a sign of support of security forces to the meeting in Kiev, Versii notes. Lieutenant-General Alexander Skipalsky was an employee of the Soviet KGB special directorate. He is also the former head of military counterespionage deprtment of the country’s Ministry of Defence and former chairman of the Union of Officers of Ukraine.
Earlier Vladimir Sivkovich, member od parliament from the Party of Regions announced that Skipalsky «is known for his pro-nationalist mood», Versii writes.
Apointment of Skipalsky has took place right after Vitaly Gaiduk’s replacement by Ivan Plyushch at the country’s Security Council. Versii adds that still several days ago it was rumoured in the presidential secretariat that Skipalsky was considered as a candidate to the SBU head’s post. Two weeks earlier another deputy head of the SBU, Valentin Pidbolyachny, was mentioned as a more probable nominee to the highest SBU post. Simultaneously the chief of foreign intelligence of the SBU, Nikolai Malomuzh, „who has deep mental mutual understanding with the President”, according to Versii, is said to be also among the candidates to the SBU leaders’s post.
The process of search of a potential replacement to the current SBU acting head Valentin Nalivaichenko is connected with the version that he already for a long time has been looking for ways and possibilities to exchange the highest SBU post for a seat of a member of parliament. Versii considers that most likely, Skipalsky has been appointed to the post for “a trial period”. On the other hand, appointment of Alexander Skipalsky could not have taken place, if not the death in a road accident of Oleg Chernousenko, the head of Kiev SBU directorate. It was rumoured that he as well as regional SBU directorate chief Vasily Gritsak were considered as prime nominees to replace Moskal, Versii adds.

Poland to screen communist secret services files again, party representatives and President decide
In Poland, the recently overthrown lustration law  will be amended again, the largest political parties decided – with the exception of the post-communist Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) – during a meeting with President Lech Kaczynski yesterday, Gazeta Wyborcza reports. An agreement on opening archives holding the files on communist-era secret service informers was not reached, the paper adds.
Meanwhile the Prime Minister’s Chancellery printed the Constitutional Tribunal’s decision on the Lustration law – vetting for communist-era secret service informers – legally announcing this act.
The decision and its legal announcement over-turn the lustration law and release hundreds of thousands of civilians from previously obligatory vetting declarations, according to daily Dziennik. Although the Act was deemed unconstitutional, the fact that dissenting opinions were written by the majority of the Tribunal’s judges reflected the fact that many Poles are not opposed to the vetting process, but rather to the obscene breadth of the Vetting Act in its current incarnation, Warsaw Business Journal comments. The requirement, for example, that all journalists and CEOs of WSE-listed firms born before 1972 submit themselves to be vetted, is absurd, it underlines. Members of the government made a number of very public attempts to postpone the verdict, and undoubtedly some less public pressure was exerted, Warsaw Business Journal continues. Sejm deputy Arkadiusz Mularczyk’s quixotic efforts to accuse members of the Tribunal of collaboration with communist secret services simply strengthened the impression that the government cares more about settling old scores – by any means necessary – than it does about actual justice, the weekly marks.
Poland obviously needs to deal with its communist past, but using the Vetting Act to do so is like using a broadsword to perform brain surgery. Since the government is unlikely to give up on its precious law, the strength of the judicial branch and the durability of Poland’s constitution offer the most hope, if only a glimmer, Warsaw Business Journal concludes.

Security services unable to find Karadzic and Mladic in Bosnia
Domestic and foreign security services have no idea of war crime fugitives Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic’s whereabouts in Bosnia, daily Dnevni Avaz reports. NATO Spokesperson Derek Chappell told Sarajevo newspaper Dnevni Avaz “the presumption that NATO police should capture war crime fugitives was a common misconception”, explaining that NATO had specific range of competences in Bosnia, but was not allowed to cross to Serbia or travel to Russia or any alleged hideout outside Bosnia. “I would like to remind that NATO forces in Bosnia have carried out around 30 operations aimed at locating war crime fugitives Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic, collecting intelligence on their whereabouts in co-operation with EUFOR,” he is quoted by Beta news agency as saying. EUFOR spokesperson Neil Mathieson confirmed that EUFOR collects intelligence, adding that EUFOR would arrest Mladic and Karadzic once it managed to locate them, news agency adds.
Republic of Srpska (RS) police chief Uros Pena said he had no knowledge of Karadzic and Mladic’s hideouts. “If any security agency called and named their location, I would immediately arrest them. It has never happened so far.” Bosnian security forces representatives called to mind that the Memorandum of understanding signed between police officials in the region last year initiated a regional work group so as to collect information on the whereabouts of suspected Karadzic and Mladic’s helpers, Beta marks.

Cabinet deal in Serbia clears way for security services reform

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Serbia’s government has real opportunity to step up long overdue reforms to security agencies, latest analysis of the Balkan Investigating Report Network says. Under the deal between the leading parties of the so-called “democratic bloc”, the conservative Democratic Party of Serbia, DSS, led by the Prime Minister, Vojislav Kostunica, will retain the interior ministry, while the centrist Democratic Party, DS, of President Boris Tadic, is to take control of the defence ministry and military intelligence agencies. The two parties will share control of the state Security and Intelligence Agency, BIA, under a “double key” principle. This means the two parties will appoint the director and deputy director respectively, and the two men will have similar powers.
Synchronization of the operation of the security agencies will be placed in the hands of the Council for National Security, presided over by the President Tadic, according to Balkan Investigating Report Network. Under the coalition agreement, Tadic’s party will also control the Military Intelligence Agency, VOA, and the Military Security Agency, VBA, which come under the defence ministry.
The political agreement guarantees continuation of reforms in the defence sector in line with NATO standards as well as strengthening hopes for more efficient democratic control of the security agencies and overall reform of the sector. An agreement on division of control over security was the main point of contention between the parties in the past weeks and months, blocking all attempts to form a government.
Reform of Serbia’s security agencies, burdened by the history of recent wars and by the legacy of Slobodan Milosevic’s regime, is widely seen as necessary. Conservative circles in these agencies are believed to have provided much support for Hague fugitives since Milosevic’s fall, including the former Bosnian Serb commander, Ratko Mladic.
Reform of the civilian security agency, BIA, will present an even greater challenge, Balkan Investigating Report Network concludes. During Milosevic era, it was used by the regime to undertake assassinations of political dissidents and reporters and act as a liaison with the criminal underworld. After Milosevic’s fall it was also associated with the assassination of the prime minister, Zoran Djindjic, in 2003. Coalition agreement’s new system of checks and balances is aimed at preventing any party from gaining a monopoly over the BIA.

Discussion on phone tapping going on in Romanian parliament
Romanian parliament is in conflict with Prosecutor General Kovesi because of the request of the Commission on phone tapping to question several prosecutors, daily Nine O’Clock writes. The chairman of the parliamentary Commission on tapping, Cristian Diaconescu, declared that it is necessary to clear up “new elements” regarding the way in which the prosecution offices proceed to the tapping of the calls, both legally and technically.
The commission which investigates the tapping of the communications was set up after Dan Voiculescu, chairman of the Commission which investigated the Constitution infringements by the country’s President Traian Basescu, notified the Standing Bureaus of the two Chambers about the information resulted upon the questioning of Claudiu Saftoiu, as intelligence service, SIE, Director.
According to the commission, Saftoiu has allegedly stated that the service that he was heading had tapped phone calls with a mandate from the prosecutor general. SRI Director, George Maior, and the person who replaces SIE Director, Silviu Predoiu, were questioned today by the members of the commission on the verification of the phone tapping.
Minister of Justice stated yesterday that the tapping of the calls in criminal cases must be made only subject to decision of a judge, saying at the same time that the tapping must be taken over from SRI by a new authority. After 17 years, we still have the suspicion that our calls are illegally tapped, declared to the media Minister Tudor Chiuariu, at the close of an international meeting organized by Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Bucharest, according to Nine O’Clock.

Some military intelligence records to be declassified in Romania
The members of the CSAT (Supreme Council of National Defense) of Romania decided in yesterday’s meeting the declassification of the records in the archive of the Ministry of Defense, in the hope that Romania’s suspended President Traian Basescu’s record may be there, daily Ziua reports. The members failed to approve of the set of national security laws, as the Senate had demanded, and decided that the main law in the set would be revised.
The officials from the Protection and Guardianship Service and the Special Telecommunications attended the meeting, although not members of the CSAT, because these two secret services are to become departments of the Interior Ministry, paper notes. It cites confidential sources saying the CSAT is to send the Parliament opinions on the national security law projects.
Mihai Stanisoara, a Presidency adviser for defense appointed by Basescu, consented to the declassification of military archive records. Nicolae Vacaroiu, an interim President of Romania, chaired the meeting. The participants agreed not to make press statements afterwards, but there was sent a press release on behalf of the interim President. The document reached the press more than five hours after the reunion had come to an end, Ziua adds. 

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