Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

TIMELINE OF EVENTS LEADING UP TO MEČIAR ARREST

March 1994
Slovak President Michal Kováč, a member of Mečiar's Movement for Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) party, appealed to the Slovak Parliament to vote against Prime Minister Vladimír Mečiar during a vote of non-confidence. Mečiar's government later that month lost the vote and the rivalry between the two former allies intensified.
October 1994

March 1994
Slovak President Michal Kováč, a member of Mečiar's Movement for Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) party, appealed to the Slovak Parliament to vote against Prime Minister Vladimír Mečiar during a vote of non-confidence. Mečiar's government later that month lost the vote and the rivalry between the two former allies intensified.

October 1994
Mečiar's HZDS forced early elections and won, thereby regaining government control. Mečiar became Slovak Prime Minister for the third time in four years.

August 31, 1995
Michal Kováč Jr, the son of President Kováč, was kidnapped outside of Svätý Jur 10 kilometres from Bratislava. He was beaten, tied up, forced to down two bottles of hard liquor, then smuggled into Austria where he was dumped in front of a police station. Kováč Jr. had been wanted in Germany in connection to charges of economic crimes.

September 8, 1995
Police investigator Jaroslav Šimunič, who said that the kidnapping had been organised by the Slovak Intelligence Service (SIS) - led by close Mečiar ally Ivan Lexa - was dismissed from the case.

March 1998
After Kováč's presidential term ended, a constitutional loophole granted Mečiar most presidential powers. Mečiar used the newly gained powers to grant amnesties to anyone ever found to be involved in the Kováč Jr. kidnapping case.

October 1998
During the first parliamentary session of the new government, Mečiar forfeited his seat to Lexa. The move cost Mečiar his parliamentary immunity.

December 1998
Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda used his presidential powers (Slovakia was still without a President) to cancel Mečiar's amnesties.

April 13, 1999
Former SIS Head Deputy Jaroslav Svěchota said that Mečiar was had been the mastermind behind the Kováč Jr. kidnapping.

October 1999
Jaroslav Ivor, chief of Slovak police investigators, publicly urged Mečiar to answer questions concerning the kidnapping, as well as political sabotage and abuse of power.

March 26, 2000
After taping a debate with Prime Minister Dzurinda at the Slovenská Televízia (Slovak Television) studios, police attempts to issue a subpoena to Mečiar were foiled when the three-time ex-PM left through a rear door surrounded by body-guards immediately following the taping. He then returned to his villa in central Slovakia's Trenčianske Teplice where police trying to issue the subpoena were told he was not home.

March 30, 2000
Police began holding a permanent watch of Mečiar's home in hopes of detaining him for questioning. Police could not enter his private residence, however, because Mečiar had not been charged with any crimes - he had only been asked to testify as a witness.

April 19, 2000
Concerning charges of abuse of power and fraud, police investigators changed Mečiar's status from witness to suspect, thereby allowing police to enter the villa.

April 20, 2000
After several warnings, masked police commando units used explosives to blow down the front door of Mečiar's villa. He was then detained and transported to Bratislava for questioning. Mečiar refused to answer questions concerning the kidnapping, was fined, and then released that day.

Top stories

Discussion about road project becomes emotional

Analysts want more alternatives for the road from Zvolen to Košice to be assessed

The protest at Soroška

Slovakia commemorates the 1968 invasion. Here’s what it looked like Photo

Anniversary of the Warsaw Pact troop invasion that ended the Prague Spring.

Garth: We need a deal that will benefit both

“When I talk to the Brits living in Slovakia, they are quite relaxed about things,” UK Ambassador to Slovakia Andrew Garth says about the Brexit-related concerns.

UK Ambassador to Slovakia Andrew Garth

“Natural police” to protect nature and animals

Those who commit crimes against the environment should watch out.

Illustrative stock photo