The Czech defense minister says a military spy who was among five Czechs returned Thursday from Lebanon was seeking information about a fellow countryman kidnapped in Libya last year.

The minister, Martin Stropnicky, was quoted in the Hospodarske Noviny daily Friday as saying the military agent, Martin Psik, went to Lebanon in an effort "to help our cook in Libya."

It was the first official comment on Psik's role in the group which also included a lawyer, an interpreter and two journalists. They all returned home Thursday, the same day the Czech government refused to extradite a Lebanese man to the U.S. to face weapons charges.

Stropnicky had said the refusal to extradite was a condition for releasing the Czechs, but later said that was simplification of complex case.