Migaš summons special session on spy boss Lexa
Speaker of Parliament Jozef Migaš summoned a special parliamentary session for August 24 at the request of 36 ruling coalition deputies.
The deputies will discuss a report from the Parliamentary Mandate and Immunity Committee recommending that parliament approve taking opposition Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) deputy and former Slovak Intelligence Service head Ivan Lexa into pre-trial custody. He is wanted in connection with 11 separate charges.
Justice Minister Ján Čarnogurský, Interior Minister Ladislav Pittner and secret service head Vladimír Mítro will also attend the session.
Lexa, whose most serious charges are connected with the 1995 kidnapping of Michal Kováč Jr., son of the former president, was first taken into custody on April 15, 1999, but was released June 19 that year after a regional court judge in Bratislava ruled that there were no longer any legal reasons to detain him.
The former spy chief is no longer in the country, and most recent media reports have suggested the fugitive may be in South Africa.
Chief Interior Ministry Investigator Jaroslav Ivor also told media August 22 that adopting a constitutional amendment revoking the amnesties issued to those involved in the kidnapping case by former Prime Minister Vladimír Mečiar would allow the eventual sentencing of Lexa and others suspected of being involved in the Kováč Jr. kidnap.
However, Ivor said that the Mečiar amnesties could not prevent the criminal prosecution of these people. He said that the police do not have enough evidence to prove Mečiar's involvement in the abduction, and that indirect evidence is not enough for the prosecution of Mečiar. However, the investigation file includes several crucial pieces of evidence that indicate the involvement of the former Prime Minister. On the day of the abduction, he allegedly repeatedly telephoned Lexa, who if apprehended could provide crucial testimony over the guilt or innocence of Mečiar.
Schuster shies away from more hospital treatment
Health Minister Roman Kováč faxed Slovak President Rudolf Schuster August 22 to warn him that he should go to hospital following complications just weeks after life-saving surgery in Austria.
Kováč requested an audience with Schuster after the president developed thrombosis in his thigh but rejected hospitalisation for treatment, preferring to be treated at his Košice residence. Kováč said that the president's decision to reject hospital care was not a good example for Slovaks who, like the president, have the right to reject health care but do not have the same opportunities to be treated at home.
Schuster returned from Austria August 15. He had been airlifted to Innsbruck at the end of July where Austrian physicians treated the president after Slovak doctors allegedly failed to diagnose a perforated colon. Criminal prosecutions have already begun in the case, and Schuster himself intentionally did not thank Slovak physicians during his first public address after his return.
Compiled by Ed Holt
28. Aug 2000 at 0:00