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UN: Kavan Says He Won't Resign Over Former Aide

United Nations, 24 July 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Former Czech Foreign Minister Jan Kavan says he will not resign from his post as president of the next UN General Assembly because of the arrest of a former aide in a murder plot.

Kavan told RFE/RL late yesterday that it is "absurd" to link him with the actions of former aide Karel Srba. Srba has been arrested with three others on suspicion of plotting to kill an investigative reporter for the Czech daily "Mlada fronta Dnes." The reporter, Sabina Slonkova, had written a series of articles describing what she said was a suspicious commercial leasing deal by the Foreign Ministry when Kavan was foreign minister.

Srba resigned from the ministry in March 2001 and Kavan says he has had no contact with him since then. Kavan said it is important that a thorough investigation of the alleged plot be conducted and that the results be publicized.

Kavan said he was surprised by a statement issued by President Vaclav Havel interpreted to mean he should resign.