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Top intel boss was arms trader

THE NEW head of domestic intelligence for the Slovak secret service is Ľubomír G., the former head of the Slovak Defense Industry Association and a former member of the board of arms traders DMD Holding, PPS Detva and ZŤS.

THE NEW head of domestic intelligence for the Slovak secret service is Ľubomír G., the former head of the Slovak Defense Industry Association and a former member of the board of arms traders DMD Holding, PPS Detva and ZŤS.

The nomination has not been confirmed by the SIS itself, which does not comment on personnel matters, but was confirmed for The Slovak Spectator by two independent sources within the intelligence community.

Under Slovak law media may not identify Ľubomír G. by his full name, as it is regarded as classified information.

The selection is regarded as troubling because as an SIS officer, Ľubomír G. will be responsible for controlling a trade he used to promote.

The SIS plays a key role in monitoring Slovakia's legal and illegal trade in weapons to prevent arms from being sent to destinations and buyers that could embarrass the country internationally.

The selection of Ľubomír G. came after SIS Director Jozef Magala, a nominee of the governmental Smer party, definitively refused to name Igor Urban, the nominee of the ruling coalition Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS), to the position.

In return, the HZDS said it did not support the leadership or the strategy of the Slovak 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," said party chairman Vladimír Mečiar for the Markíza TV station.

News that Urban was being considered for the post of the head of counter-intelligence had also caused considerable concern, as he had served as the head of the parliamentary Special 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, Michal Kováč Jr., and the assassination of a key figure in the subsequent investigation, Robert Remiaš.

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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