SIS' Svěchota charged again

A former deputy director of the Slovak secret service (SIS) has been charged with fraud and abuse of power.

A Bratislava judge laid the charges against Jaroslav Svěchota, one of the SIS's top operatives under the last prime ministerial term of Vladimír Mečiar from 1994-1998.

Svěchota is alleged to have falsified documents showing that in 1998 he took most of a Sk18 million ($380,000) payment that had been allocated to the SIS.

If convicted he will face 10 years in jail. An earlier indictment against him for organising the kidnapping of the former President's son in 1995 was overturned last year when the Constitutional Court ruled a Mečiar era amnesty prevented Svěchota from being tried.

Other members of the SIS have also been connected with the kidnapping, including former head of the service and now fugitive Ivan Lexa.

Lexa fled Slovakia last year during investigations into his involvement in that and other alleged crimes carried out by the secret service during his time as its head.

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