Wiretapping of Pavel Béma and Roman Janoušek

The leak of the wire tapping records of calls upset the society and scared the politicians. It confirmed the publicly known fact about the informal contact between public officials and business cliques.  The case of mayor Bém and lobbyist Janoušek reveals individual influence of certain persons on public decision that in range of Bem’s responsibilities influenced public spending and its usage.

Various speculations about the motivations for the leak of wire tapping calls exist and no one of them can be excluded for sure. The fact is that the evidence brought by the leak unified as well as terrified the whole range of officials across the Czech political spectrum. Few of them can be perceived as more probable than others:

Internal tension in BIS with the intention to weaken the current administration

  • The leak is de facto an attack on broader spectrum of politicians and parties and discredits incumbent administration of BIS.
  • Whoever from the internal environment could without reference to impacts brought out the records and discredits the current leadership of BIS.

External attempt to discredit BIS

  • BIS asked for competence empowerment and rise of budget.
  • Irresponsibility of the agency is just an outcome of fear and anger of politicians.

An attempt to distract  the attention from other ongoing scandals

  • The trial with  V. Bárta and J. Škárka
  • I. Rittig and spendings of Dopravní podnik Praha

An attempt to attack negative symbols of ODS and the system of influential lobbyists

  • The suspicion is aimed at K. Randák and his contacts in the environment of intelligence agencies.
  •  The discreditation of ODS and political parties in general due the fact of upcoming presidential election and the campaigns of several candidates without party affiliation (mainly J. Fišer).

The most important part of this scandal is the impact that comes from the leak. As there is currently no more information about further records we can analytically simplify the outcome in a few main points:

External impacts (voters, media):

  • The political death and discreditation of Pavel Bém (including his leave from ODS)
  • Partial decrease in the preferences of ODS (not radical)
  • The decrease of level of trust among people in political and public arena.

Internal Impacts; Impacts on representation in political arena:

  • Occurrence of panic and fear that refers to future leaks.
  • Widespread distrust towards intelligence agencies, especially BIS.
  • Increased cautiousness in activities that are somehow related.

Author: CBAP 2012

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