A source close to the Czech security forces indicated for Pravo on Tuesday that intensive negotiations about the release of the Czechs are underway.
It is more and more probable that Lebanese gunmen abducted the Czechs in order to exchange them for Ali Fayad, a Lebanese who stays in Czech custody, or at least to prevent Fayad´s extradition to the USA where he is wanted for suspected support for terrorists, the source said.
The exchange of the Czechs for Fayad was also presented as the kidnappers´ motive by the Lebanese press agency shortly after the Czechs and their Lebanese driver went missing in the Bekaa Valley, east Lebanon, Pravo writes.
Lebanese authorities have admitted that Fayad is an aide to the Lebanese military intelligence service, the paper writes.
In September, the Prague City Court for the second time nodded the extradition of Fayad and his two foreign accomplices suspected of help to terrorists to the USA.
“The Czech intelligence services are far from rejoicing at the court wanting to extradite the three. This narrows the space for our negotiations in Lebanon. Our security experts believe this is a huge mistake,” Pravo quotes its “reliable source close to intelligence agents” as saying.
Nothing could prevent the extradition of the three suspects if the decision were upheld by the High Court in Prague and signed by Justice Minister Robert Pelikan, Pravo writes.
“It would not be a good tactical step. I would not sign it if I were the minister,” Pravo´s source said.
If the suspected aides to terrorists were extradited to the USA, it is difficult to say what would become of the kidnapped Czechs. The answer to it “cannot be expected to be much positive,” the source said.
Pravo writes that further facts support the premise that the abduction is linked to Fayad.
The five missing Czechs include Jan Svarc, Fayad´s lawyer who went to Lebanon to take over money for Fayad´s defence from his family, Pravo writes, citing previous information of daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD).
In addition, the driver with whom the Czechs travelled and who was reportedly to bring Svarc to Fayad´s family, but disappeared together with the Czechs, was a brother of Fayad, Pravo writes.
Although Fayad has dismissed any connection between the missing Czechs and his family, Pravo´s source said cooperation between the kidnappers and Fayad´s brother cannot be ruled out.
“The question is whether the gunmen also kidnapped the driver or whether he cooperated with them and brought the Czechs to a place chosen [by the kidnappers],” the source said.