November 11, 2001
Imposter Sought for Pretending to be Times Staff Photographer

PRAGUE, November 4 - Authorities in Prague have been working with officials at the New York Times in an attempt to learn the identity of a man police describe as middle-aged "but looking younger," who they say has been accused of posing as a Times photographer. Apparently the suspect has been employing this ruse to gain access to otherwise off-limits public and private facilities in this historic central european capital. 

In the most recently reported event, managers of the Prague TV Tower (Televizni vez), a futuristic structure, the tallest in Prague, said a man calling himself Honza Galliganova falsely identified himself as a New York Times staff photographer and was given access to a platform at the top of the forty-four story tower. Milos Ligac, director of security for Radio-komunikaci said, "First of all, Honza is an improper form of Honzecka, which is the diminutive, vocative case for Jan, one of our most popular names, like Joe in your country."

Ligac went on to say that the "nova" ending on the surname was also obviously false, as "only women use that ending on the family name, to show respect and a belonging to the husband, as in Vaclav Havel's wife, Madame Havelova."

As to what the rogue "photographer" was doing atop the television tower, Ligac said, "for now we can only speculate." Investigators reported finding a clear set of footprints in the snow, next to the tower's ledge. "He's just lucky he didn't slip, and plunge to his certain death," said Ligac.

Copyright 2001 The New Yolk Times Company