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Mečiar wants Lexa rehabilitated

VLADIMÍR Mečiar, the head of the ruling coalition Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS), wants to clear the name of Ivan Lexa, the former head of the Slovak secret service (SIS) under Mečiar's 1994-1998 government, who was charged with a dozen crimes from his time as SIS director.

Mečiar said that the Slovak courts had proven none of the charges against Lexa, and that he should therefore be rehabilitated.

As SIS director Lexa was suspected of plotting the kidnapping of the former president's son, Michal Kováč Jr. Mečiar issued an amnesty in this case in 1998 as acting Slovak president.

The SIS was also suspected of involvement in the murder of Robert Remiaš, who was a go-between to the crown witness in the Kováč kidnapping. This case also remains unresolved so far.

Incoming PM Robert Fico, however, took a reserved stance on the issue. He said that while he respects the presumption of innocence principle, "If Mečiar comes up with this topic, I will listen to him but I will prefer to talk about other things", the SME daily wrote.

Compiled by Martina Jurinová from press reports

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