Slota speaks on gynaecology
The controversial leader of the far-right Slovak Nationalist Party (SNS), Ján Slota, took aim at Roman Kováč, a member of the ruling SDK party, at a Bratislava press conference on September 6. Kováč, a former gynaecologist who has been critical of Slota's alleged acts of public drunkenness and urination, had said that "someone who cannot control his basic biological needs should not be a leading member of a committee overseeing the activities of the Slovak intelligence service."
Since last November, Slota has served as the chairman of the parliamentary committe which oversees the Slovak secret service
In response, Slota said that he may sue Kováč. "A deputy who [was] a gynaecologist should deal with things he is expected to know about - female sex organs - and leave other organs alone," Slota said. "I could even maintain that I have a better insight into these female organs than he does."
Slota also accused OSCE Commissioner Max van der Stoel of "being a man with one eye," explaining that he is helping Slovak-Hungarians in Slovakia achieve their "unjustified demands" while ignoring ethnic Slovaks.
In its September session, parliament will discuss lifting Slota's parliamentary immunity from proescution to allow for his criminal prosecution for acts associated with his continuing bouts of "inappropriate behaviour." His case is currently listed as 61st on the order of business, but Slota said he will request that he be moved to the top of the agenda.
Schuster was a Catholic during communism
Slovak President Rudolf Schuster told reporters at the Presidential Palace that he had never abandoned his Catholic beliefs during his life as a high ranking communist government official. Schuster made the announcement on September 5 at an annual "open house" event in the palace's St. Barbora Chapel.
The President conceded that, due to this admission, some may accuse him of "double-dealing." However, he defended his contrasting belief system under communism by saying that "it is more important how people behave in their lives than how they appear to be."
Police find 30 Sri Lankan illegal immigrants
Thirty illegal immigrants from Sri Lanka were discovered on September 6 after Slovak police stopped the truck which was smuggling them into the country on the Slovak-Ukrainian border. The 23-year old Slovak driver and his accomplice will be charged with "smuggling people illegally", said Miroslav Sramek of the Slovak Border Police.
Police are presently questioning the immigrants, all of whom are male and expected to apply for asylum in Slovakia, Sramek said. If they are refused asylum, they will be returned to their home country or to the Ukraine.
According to the Penal Code, which was revised on September 1, the smugglers may be sentenced to a minimum of three years in jail or levied a fine. If they are proven to have made substantial financial gains by their illegal activities, the sentence could reach eight years. Had any of the immigrants died, the smugglers would then be facing 15-year prison terms.
Slovak police believe that approximately 50 smuggling rings operate on the Slovak-Ukrainian border, and that their numbers are increasing. In order to curb the influx, the eventual introduction of visas for Ukrainians and the purchase of a border monitoring system from PHARE funds are being considered.
Cocaine - 1.4 tonnes of it - that was seized in an Italian port, resulting in the detention of three Slovak nationals.
Three Slovaks involved in huge coke bust
Three Slovaks were allegedly "middlemen" in a drug trading ring that was busted last week for smuggling 1.4 tonnes of cocaine, worth some 2 to 3 billion Austrian shillings, from the southern Italian port of Gioia Tauro to Vienna. The truck was originally stopped in Italy but permitted to continue on with some of its original cargo so that police could be led to others involved.
Eight members of the gang were arrested, including three Slovaks - Denis B. (25), Dušan R. (34) and Milena M. (20) - along with three Dutchmen, one Macedonian and one Austrian. All are being held in Vienna awaiting charges. Hidden in a shipment of fruit juice imported from Colombia, the cocaine was believed to have been bound for Slovakia.
Compiled by Chris Togneri