The Commission recommended that Pavel Rus appoint Balak as the head of Lani Forest Management.

Novak, who had already been temporarily entrusted with the management of the Prague Castle administration, was to replace Ivo Veliček as its director. The chancellor of the presidency, Vratislav Minas, recalled this in October.

Denik N, who drew attention to the results of the selection commissions, said that the former North Bohemian director of forests in the Czech Republic was Russian. Novak served at Prague Castle under all three Czech presidents. Since 2015, he has been the Director of the Administrative Division of the Office of the President. He was also the head of the government office.

Before the court, Balak was accused of influencing public contracts in Lanska Obora. The court sent him to prison for three years, but President Milos Zeman pardoned him and Balak remained in his post. Another court fined Balak 870,000 crowns and banned him for two years from activities in companies managing state assets in the Lanska Obora stone mining case. This judgment is not final and the matter will be resolved by the Regional Court in Prague.

The chamber took 30 million from the castle’s budget this year because of Balak’s case.


Veliček joined Prague Castle in February 2004 and has been the Director of the Prague Castle Administration (SPH) since 2005, when he was handed over by then-President Vaclav Klaus. SPH is a contributory organization established by the Office of the President. In addition to the grounds of Prague Castle, he also takes care of Lani Castle. His job description includes, among other things, the maintenance of the castle and Lande monuments.

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In October, Velíšek told the Deník N server that Mynář had not told him the reason for the appeal. “I don’t know that I did anything, nor was I told anything in particular,” he said. He was not notified in advance of the appeal, he said.

Novak has been the Director of the Executive Division of the Office of the President since 2015. Later, he was also entrusted with managing the Defense Department of Prague Castle, but the President’s Office changed it to the Department of the Director of Defense, which is now headed by Lenka Novakova. The media reported that he did not have a Secret, Top Secret or Top Secret security clearance issued by the National Security Agency. He has assigned grade clearance. In the past, he has served as head of a government office, deputy director of the National Security Office, or chaired John Fischer’s presidential campaign.

The head of Balak Forest Management has resigned, and the director of Valisek Fort Management is also leaving


Five candidates applied for the selection process for the Director of the Lány Forestry Administration, and one resigned during the process. In addition to Novak, another person applied for the position of director of the Prague Castle administration. The selection committee, which included the Deputy Head of the Office of the President and the Secretary of State for the Interior Ministry, decided that Novak was the most suitable candidate.

Český rozhlas – Radiožurnál announced in November that the President’s Office had replaced the head of operations at Lánská Palace. Kateryna Rytlova will lead the chat instead of Mikaela Zavarkova, who previously worked as a cook or housekeeper. At the same time, the castle divided the administration of the castle at Lani and the administration of the castle gardens and park.

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