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Lexa accused of conspiring against former president
Police rule out racial motive in Balážová murder
Only 37% of EU citizens support Slovak entry

Lexa accused of conspiring against former president

The investigation of an alleged conspiracy against former Slovak President Michal Kováč was closed with the recommendation that charges be brought against former secret service (SIS) boss Ivan Lexa and former SIS officials Peter K. and Pavol B., said Slovak Chief Investigator Jaroslav Ivor on October 30.
Whether former Prime Minister Vladimír Mečiar was involved in the alleged crime could not be proven without the testimony of Lexa, Ivor added.
Lexa was accused of assigning Peter K. and Pavol B. to draft a report on ways to strengthen the position of the Mečiar-led government by cutting short the presidential term of Kováč, who had publicly criticised the activities of the government.
If convicted of the crime, Lexa (who is evading an international warrant for his arrest) could face between 10 and 15 years in prison.


Police rule out racial motive in Balážová murder

Police in Žilina announced on October 28 that the motive in the August 20 Balážová family attack was random revenge. Žilina Deputy Police Chief Štefan Zajac said that the four suspects who had been detained had wanted to take revenge for an alleged attack of unknown gypsies on their friend.
Two of the suspected attackers were servicemen in the Slovak Army. One of the suspected attackers, Pavel H., admitted to the judge on the case that he sympathised with the skinhead movement. According to the daily paper Sme, another suspect, 25-year old Pavol K., has a Roma mother.
Zajac said that under the influence of alcohol the men randomly picked a house in a gypsy neighborhood at about 3:30 in the morning on August 20. They broke into the house and began beating the inhabitants with baseball bats until they discovered that their victims were children. As they were running out of the house, 21-year old Peter B. struck Anastázia Balážová in the head, killing the mother of eight children.
On September 22, Žilina police detained two different men suspected of the attack. Zajac said that they had mistakenly been arrested because they bore a striking resemblance to two of the current suspects.
If convicted of the crime, Peter B. could be sentenced to 12 years in prison while his fellow attackers could face up to 10 years.


Only 37% of EU citizens support Slovak entry

According to the results of a Eurobarometer poll released in Brussels on October 26, only 37% of citizens in European Union countries support the accession of Slovakia into the EU, while 38% are against it.
Slovakia's EU ambitions were most supported by the citizens of Sweden (62% support) and Denmark (57%). The lowest support was registered in France (23%) and Austria (27%). Only 27% of those polled concidered EU enlargement to be a priority.


Compiled by Chris Togneri from SITA and TASR

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