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Secret Police trial adjourned

The trial of a former communist secret police head has been adjourned until December because of problems with witnesses.

The trial of Alojz Lorenc, former chief of the dreaded Czechoslovak secret service - the ŠtB - in late 1989 when Communism fell, descended into farce on October 18.

Defence and prosecution lawyers discovered two of 11 witnesses due to testify had not received subpoenas. A Bratislava military court ruled proceedings against Lorenc, who is charged with abuse of public authority, will resume December 5.

The proceedings, held in a lower military court in the capital, were to finally bring Lorenc in front of judges in his own country. He was tried in the former Czechoslovakia and found guilty of the unlawful detention of citizens during the 1989 Velvet Revolution.

But after the split of Czechoslovakia into the Czech and Slovak Republics four years later, he refused to return to the Czech Republic to serve his four year jail sentence and lived untouched in Slovakia.

Lorenc has denied all the charges against him.

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