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10. 1. 2014 9:49

Ethics Commission Conclusion no. 4

concerning an assessment of cooperation with a foreign intelligence service within the meaning of Section 3 paragraph 1 of Act No. 262/2011 Coll.

The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (hereinafter referred to as the “SFRY”), which, from 1946 to 1963 was called the People’s Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (hereinafter referred to as the “PFRY”), was not a democratic state during the period from 1957 to 1960, although the ruling regime here was in a sense more liberal than the communist regime in the then CSR. It was clearly an authoritarian regime, in which the Communist Party of Yugoslavia played a leading role.

(Ethics Commission CR Decision of 22 January 2013, ref. no. 11679/2012-EKO)

The reasoning:

In accordance with Section 3 paragraph 1 of the Act the “forms of anti-communist opposition and resistance are understood to include armed or other equal action against the communist regime in Czechoslovakia, sabotages, co-operation with international intelligence services of democratic countries and trafficking people or crossing state borders for the purposes of involvement in anti-communist opposition and resistance (the pedestrian agents). According to the provisions of Section 2 (b) of Act No. 262/2011 Coll., “anti-communist opposition and resistance means the involvement in actions directed against the communist regime in Czechoslovakia, shown individually or in groups on the basis of political, religious, or moral democratic convictions, or conscious and public shows of such resistance in the country and abroad, including in connection with a foreign democratic power, in some of the forms specified in Section 3, with the goal to eliminate, weaken or disturb significantly, or otherwise damage the communist totalitarian power in Czechoslovakia and to restore freedom and democracy. In order for the behaviour of the Party to the proceedings to satisfy the form of anti-communist opposition and resistance, these must be met cumulatively, i.e. both requirements must be met at the same time, in other words a demonstration of active and conscious cooperation with the foreign intelligence service of a democratic state and, at the same time, the objective of such activities must be to eliminate, weaken or disturb significantly, or otherwise damage the communist regime in Czechoslovakia and to restore freedom and democracy.

To assess the justification for the decision of the administrative authority in the first instance, the crucial factor is to verify whether the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (hereinafter referred to as “SFRY), which from 1946 to 1963 was called the People’s Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (hereinafter referred to as “PFRY”), was a democratic state during the period the Party to the proceedings was working at the Czech General Consulate in Zagreb. In view of the facts set out above relating to the assessment of the case, the Ethics Commission was obliged to investigate further the political, international political and diplomatic situation existing in the PFRY, and not only in the period in question, between 1957 and 1960. This is summarised by the Ethics Commission as follows:

The first provisional government in the PFRY was established on 7 March 1945 by Josip Broz Tito and Yugoslav communists as a communist government without the participation of the Yugoslav government in exile. The Yugoslav communist party won the first post-war elections in November 1945. Tito was appointed Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs. The Yugoslav communist party employed similar methods to destroy its political opponents as the Stalinist communist regime in the USSR. After the victory of the Yugoslav communists in the elections, a strong Yugoslav national army emerged, along with the secret police force (UDBA) and the security agency (OZNA). Efforts to establish an economically independent state, in 1948 resulted in a rupture between Tito and Stalin, which resulted in the exclusion/expulsion of the PFRY from the Cominform and a period of de-Stalinisation of the PFRY. After 1950 there was a gradual easing of social relationships in the PFRY and partial liberalisation because Tito was not in favour of full liberalisation. Under Tito, the PFRY was to lead a “national socialist revolution”. As is apparent from the opinion of the Institute, the aforementioned disputes between the PFRY and the Soviet bloc during the period from 1948 – 1954 meant that “Yugoslavia leant more towards the West, thanks to which Tito saw an opportunity in the current situation to gain greater control over the Balkans; this initiated the so-called swing or non-aligned politics, where Yugoslavia sought to balance itself between two hostile blocs – the eastern (towards which it leant during the period from 1954-1958) and the western (towards which it leant during the period from 1950-1954, or to varying degrees after 1958) – and skilfully used this situation to obtain preferential loans and trade advantages and to strengthen its overall international standing, whether in bilateral relations or at international fora”.

When relations had been repaired between Moscow and Belgrade during the period from 1954 – 1955, from 1956 (in other words, still during the nineteen fifties, when the Czechoslovak communist regime was on the rise and during which period the majority of abuses were committed against those Czechoslovak citizens who refused to accept the communist regime) the ill-will between the PFRY and the Soviet Union was mitigated. This de-escalation also resulted in the opening of the General Consulate of the CSSR in Zagreb in 1957. However, despite improvements in the situation between the two countries, the “Czech communist leadership, even after overcoming their differences, still maintained a significant distance from Tito’s Yugoslavia, which widened and lessened according to the changes in the Yugoslav-Soviet relationship”. Nonetheless, in the spring of 1958 these relations drastically deteriorated. As a result of further rifts between the USSR and the PFRY, there was a mutual expulsion of one diplomat from Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia in 1959. During this period contacts between the CSSR and the PFRY were reduced to a minimum. At the beginning of the nineteen sixties, mutual relations improved and a series of bilateral agreements were signed on economic, cultural, transport and health issues. Here, Czechoslovakia was also copying the Kremlin’s position.
Under Tito’s leadership, in 1961 the PFRY became the initiator and founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement, which was motivated by Tito’s efforts to demarcate his position not only in terms of the Eastern bloc, but also the Western bloc (later the Cuban communist movement was to take the initiative instead of the PFRY/ SFRY). Relations between the SFRY and the USSR remained complicated until the period known as the “Prague Spring”, when Tito stood in opposition to the opinion of the leadership of the USSR, that a “counter-revolutionary movement and pro-western elements had come to power” in Prague, which led to the subsequent occupation of the CSSR by Warsaw Pact troops.
The Ethics Commission states, for completeness, that its opinion complies both with the professional opinion of Dr. Jan Pelikán, CSc., from the Department of South Slavic and Balkan Studies, Philosophical Faculty, Charles University in Prague, the Institute of World History in the Charles University Philosophical Faculty, that “despite a certain level of liberalisation that took place after 1949, the basic characteristics of Tito’s regime remain unchanged; i.e. at the beginning of the nineteen-sixties, a leninist-stalinist type authoritarian regime remained in place in Yugoslavia”, and also with a professional report from the Institute of 8 November 2012, which states that although the “political situation, or the tendency, particularly in terms of foreign policy, to move towards one or the other power block varied according to need, we can still conclude that the political regime existing in the former Yugoslavia to 1991 can be classified as communist”.

In view of the above, it is not possible to agree with the objection brought by the Party to the proceedings, as expressed in her appeal to the Ethics Commission, which disagreed with the decision of the authority of first instance “that it judged the SFRY to be undemocratic”. It is clear from the evidence that if the Party to the proceedings had acted in good faith in helping to improve relations between the two countries, as she claimed, this effort in itself would now mean that the Party to the proceedings also fought against communism in the CSSR. The Ethics Committee considers that the idea held by the Party to the proceedings, that her behaviour would counteract the power politics of the USSR, was not realistic, even given generally known facts confirmed by expert reports from those institutes addressed. As is clear from the evidence laid out above, during the problematic “behaviour” of the PFRY in the period under review, consisting of alternating swings towards either the eastern or the western bloc, in so-called swing politics, the PFRY was primarily promoting its own business and international political interests, where at certain times it certainly supported states in the so-called “eastern bloc” and therefore the ruling communist regime in these states (and it also always formally announced its “socialist orientation”). However, at the same time, it cannot be claimed that in following its own interests in the areas of economic and international policies the PFRY was also supporting democratic values (including a respect for human and civil rights, as these are normally perceived in democratic western-type countries). However this does not change the fact that, as was stated by the Party to the proceedings, during the period under review, the PFRY could have been seen by democratic countries, including the USA, as a country (from time to time) approaching western society, i.e. as a quasi-allied country, but not as a capitalistic, or even a democratic, country. Given the scope of the evidence produced for the appeal proceedings and placed before the first instance administrative authority, and also given the fact that the Party to the proceedings was referred by the MFA to the Philosophical Faculty in Prague to address her application for an opinion/report to assess the political, international-political and diplomatic situation in the FLRY/SFRY, the Ethics Commission did not feel it was necessary to obtain such a report from the MFA in the appeal proceedings.

In terms of assessing whether the behaviour of the Party to the proceedings satisfies the second condition arising from Section 2 (b) of Act No. 262/2011 Coll., i.e. whether her behaviour was intended to damage the communist totalitarian power in Czechoslovakia and to restore freedom and democracy, the motive/intention of her behaviour must be investigated.

The Act also states, in Section 4 paragraph 1 (h) that a citizen is not recognised as a participant in anti-communist opposition and resistance if he or she, during the time of non-freedom, was a member or collaborator of a foreign country’s intelligence service at a time when a communist regime or a regime similar to a communist regime was in rule in such state. It is clear from the above that cooperation between the Party to the proceedings and the Yugoslav secret service UDBA not only fails to comply with a form of opposition and resistance to communism set out in Section 3 of the Act, but that it can also be perceived as an impediment to recognising the status of a participant in anti-communist opposition and resistance pursuant to the provisions of Section 4 paragraph 1 (h) of Act No. 262/2011 Coll. According to the provisions of Section 4 paragraph 3 of Act No. 262/2011 Coll., the administrative authority will only omit to take into account this statutory inhibition to the grant of a certificate if the intensity, scope or duration of the involvement in the anti-communist opposition and resistance manifestly exceeds their involvement in the building, development and strengthening of the communist totalitarian power, or if the Party to the proceedings has performed an exceptionally worthy feat as part of the anti-communist opposition and resistance. However, the Party to the proceedings did not mention any facts that would demonstrate that she developed activities aimed against the communist regime, which would prevail against the fact, within the meaning of Section 4 paragraph 3 of Act No. 262/2011 Coll., that she collaborated with the intelligence service of a foreign state, in this case with the UDBA, at a time when it was ruled by a communist regime, or a regime resembling communism, in other words that she developed any anti-communist activities that would be of such a scope or intensity as to overcome any inhibitions preventing the applicant from obtaining the status of a participant of anti-communist opposition and resistance.

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