LADISLAV Pittner was head of the Slovak intelligence service (SIS) when the decoding of the so-called "Mečiar CDs" started. He was also an MP for the Christian Democratic Movement Party (KDH) and interior minister in the first cabinet of Mikuláš Dzurinda.
The Slovak Spectator (TSS): What do you think about the CDs about non-licensed deposit companies provided to the Prosecutor General's Office by Vladimír Mečiar?
Ladislav Pittner (LP):The records are disputed by the fact that they were provided by Mečiar. We can suspect a lot of things about it - just because of who he is. For example, we can suspect that it contains names of people who do not have the slightest idea about it, and who have nothing to do with the non-licensed deposit companies. Moreover, this document has not just been in Mečiar's hands, but also in the hands of people who are currently either convicted or under investigation.
TSS: So you are not ruling out that the recording could be authentic?
LP: It cannot be ruled out. It is just important that the appropriate authorities, and the police, have the opportunity to check the materials.
As for the lists, I do not expect they would be lists of names arbitrarily put together. I suppose there would be some parameters or data which would let the authorities verify whether the people named had any contact with the non-licensed deposit companies, and to what extent.
TSS: Do you think the lists from the CD should be published?
LP: As long as they are in this unverified state, I agree with the prosecutor general that they should not be published. Unforeseen events could happen if they were published. This is about tens of thousands of people who were greedy enough to get tricked by pyramid schemes, and lost their money. They could try to avenge themselves on the unrightfully-named people.
But as soon as the lists are verified, and it is clear that they are correct, they could be published. And if they include politicians or public officials and it shows that they misused contacts with owners of these non-licensed deposit companies, used the character of the pyramid schemes, and shortly before the bankruptcy withdrew not just their principal but also the exorbitantly high interests, a prosecution should be opened, at least for the misconduct of a public official.
TSS: So why do you think the decoding took so long?
LP: It can be called a miracle that it happened. It was a code that was originally used by the special services of the NATO in another version. NATO then changed to another code, and this was made available to the commercial sphere in a certain version. This code is extraordinarily difficult.
TSS: You were the head of the SIS in 2004, when the decoding started. How did it work?
LP: We decoded for about two years, 24 hours a day. I had even to get additional equipment following the experts' recommendations. And the experts we called from our partner services told us that they could not tell whether we would succeed in decoding it.
17. Sep 2007 at 0:00 | Ľuba Lesná