Slovak detained in Iran, accused of spying for CIA

Slovak media reported on Monday, January 21, that a Slovak citizen was detained in Iran for allegedly having spied for the US intelligence service, the CIA. The Slovak Foreign Ministry confirmed for the private TV Markíza that last week, a Slovak citizen was arrested in Tehran. The ministry asked the Iranian side for an explanation, but so far has received no response, according to the www.topky.sk news-portal.

Slovak media reported on Monday, January 21, that a Slovak citizen was detained in Iran for allegedly having spied for the US intelligence service, the CIA. The Slovak Foreign Ministry confirmed for the private TV Markíza that last week, a Slovak citizen was arrested in Tehran. The ministry asked the Iranian side for an explanation, but so far has received no response, according to the www.topky.sk news-portal.

The Slovak ministry strives to gain more information and to help the detainee, and has asked for permission to visit him. “In spite of repeated phone calls and notified requests, such contact has not been enabled so far,” spokesman of the Foreign Ministry Boris Gandel informed the TV Markíza. “We are working on the case and we will organise further steps,” he added.

The daily Sme identified the man as Matej Valúch, aged 26. Iranian state TV broadcast a documentary about him called Trapped Hunter – the video can be viewed on www.youtube.com in Farsi, the Persian language. The video implies that he came to the country to study, to be later contacted by a CIA officer to whom he sent personal data about Iranians. At the end of the story, six secret agents who plotted against Iranians are allegedly uncovered.

According to information Sme published on January 21, Matej Valúch left for Tehran in summer and worked there in the communication sector. He last contacted Slovakia at the beginning of December, but since then he could not be contacted. He speaks English; he graduated from the Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica. He cannot speak Farsi. In the video, he pleaded guilty of espionage.

Expert on Arabic studies Jaroslav Bureš from the Institute for International Studies in Prague opined for the daily that Valúch’s detention could be the regime’s pre-election move to distract the public, show a “public enemy” and prevent disturbances and protests like those that emerged around the election four years ago.

(Source: TV Markíza, topky, Sme)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

Top stories

The referendum is said to protect traditional families.
Politics & society

Turnout key to referendum result

EVEN amid heated discussion about the content of a February 7 referendum targeting the constitutional definition of family, experts say the biggest test for supporters of the Alliance for Family (AZR) ballot initiative is whether turnout surpasses the required 50-percent quorum of eligible voters.

26. Jan 2015
Alžbeta Petoová, daughter of awarded Arpád and Alžbeta Hajdu, Alexander Ben-Zvi and consul of Izrael in Slovakia Avital Gershon (from left).
International

Ten more Slovaks recognised as Righteous Among the Nations

ANOTHER 10 Slovaks have received the Righteous Among the Nations award, the highest honour given to a non-Jew by the State of Israel and Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum for saving Jewish citizens during the Holocaust.

29. Jan 2015
The second pillar will open, again.
Business

More changes for second pillar

IN RESPONSE to the small payments going to the first pensioners-to-be from the second, private, pension pillar, Prime Minister Robert Fico says he will look for ways to allow those savers to move their money back into the state pension programme.

26. Jan 2015
Defence Ministry is now seeking dozens of all-terrain Land Rover vehicles.
Politics & society

Land Rovers top army wish list

AFTER series of controversial purchases for the army, the Defence Ministry is now seeking dozens of all-terrain Land Rover vehicles, the Defence Ministry confirmed on January 16.

26. Jan 2015