SIS without HZDS support

THE RULING coalition Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) party does not support the leadership or the strategy of the Slovak secret service (SIS), according to party chairman Vladimír Mečiar.

The party’s statement came after SIS director Jozef Magala, a nominee of the governmental Smer party, definitively refused to name Igor Urban, the HZDS nominee, to the SIS management. The HZDS subsequently disclaimed any responsibility for the performance of the secret service.

“THE SIS does not have the support of the HZDS, and I have no confidence in the direction that the service is heading in,” Mečiar said for the Markíza TV station.

News that Urban was being considered for the post of the head of counter-intelligence caused considerable concern, as he had served as the head of the parliamentary oversight committee for the SIS during the reign of its infamous former director, Ivan Lexa.

Under Lexa’s leadership from 1995 to 1998, the SIS was suspected of organized the kidnapping of the president’s son, and the assassination of a key figure in the subsequent investigation.

Mečiar also rejected speculations that in return for withdrawing Urban’s name, the HZDS had received a promise that it would be allowed to nominate the new head of the National Security Office (NBÚ).

The current NBÚ director, Aurel Ugor, who was nominated to the post by the previous government, will be recalled by parliament at its upcoming session.

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