News Briefs

Ivor wants Mečiar to testify in kidnapping case
Slovak Nazi victims to benefit from Berlin Agreement
Polish smugglers caught with 52 kilos of heroin

Ivor wants Mečiar to testify in kidnapping case

Chief Investigator Jaroslav Ivor used a regular press conference on March 27 in Bratislava to publicly call on the opposition Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) Chairman Vladimír Mečiar to testify in the 1995 abduction case of Michal Kováč Jr. Ivor challenged Mečiar to stop "ignoring police requests" for his testimony.
The police have recently attempted several times to deliver a subpoena to Mečiar but have thus far failed. The police began by issuing a subpoena through the mail, but Mečiar failed to reply. Local police then attempted to call on him at his Villa Elektra in Trenčianske Teplice, but were told that Mečiar was not home even though HZDS deputy chairperson Zdenka Kramplová soon thereafter entered the building while the police waited outside.
The last attempt to deliver the subpoena to Mečiar was March 26 at the taping of his debate with Slovak Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda at the studios of the state-run Slovenské Televízia (Slovak Television - STV). At the conclusion of the debate, Mečiar failed to heed the call of a police investigator and left through the back door, surrounded by bodyguards.


Slovak Nazi victims to benefit from Berlin Agreement

Jozef Weiss, chancellor of the Central Association of Jewish Communities in Slovakia, said the agreement made in Berlin on March 24 would open the door to compensating the 6,000 Holocaust victims now living in Slovakia. Weiss represented Slovakia at the negotiations, as the Slovak Foreign Affairs Ministry was not a direct participant of the agreement.
The fact that Slovakia is not a partner of Germany in this agreement will not influence compensation to Slovak citizens. However, unlike the Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine, Russia and Belarus, Slovakia will not be listed in the law to be adopted by the German Parliament enabling the compensation payments. Nazi victims in the aforementioned countries will receive direct payments, while victims in other countries, including Slovakia, will receive compensation through alternate means, likely the International Red Cross.


Polish smugglers caught with 52 kilos of heroin

Slovak border police nabbed five Polish nationals at the Austrian-Slovak border crossing outside Bratislava while they were attempting to smuggle 52 kilograms of heroin valued at 2 billion Slovak crowns ($46.5 million) into Austria. A police drug dog sniffed out the heroin, which had been fixed to the chassis of the Ford Sierra auto as well as stuffed behind the dashboard, on March 18.
The Slovak Interior Ministry said that the shipment was believed to have originated in Turkey and to have arrived in Slovakia via the Balkan states. The smugglers will likely be tried in Slovakia and could face an 8 to 15 year prison sentence.

Compiled by Chris Togneri
from SITA and TASR

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