Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook


Police seek arrest of former security chief

Slovak police have asked parliament for permission to arrest the former head of the state secret service, Ivan Lexa, who is now an opposition deputy, top police officials said on March 29.

Lexa, a close ally of former Prime Minister Vladimír Mečiar, is wanted for questioning over the 1995 kidnapping of the son of one of Mečiar's most prominent critics, former President Michal Kováč, and for other alleged abuses of power. Lexa was not available for comment on March 29 but has denied any wrongdoing.

Parliament has already been asked to lift his immunity from prosecution as a deputy but officials said they were concerned he may try to interefere with the investigation. Even after a deputy's immunity is lifted he is still immune from arrest until found guilty at trial.

"There is a suspicion... that Lexa, if he were let free during the prosecution period, could mar the investigation for example by influencing witnesses," the interior ministry's chief investigator Jaroslav Ivor told a news conference.

Two other high ranking former secret service officers have already been arrested. The new reform minded government, which came to power following elections in September, has pledged to clean up Slovak society and reinvigorate the country's democratic system.

Slovakia was excluded from the first wave of European Union candidate countries because of serious concerns that Mečiar's government was compromising democratic principles, failing to respect the rule of law and abusing the security services for political or generally illegal purposes.

In February, parliament lifted the immunity of former interior minister Gustáv Krajči, opening the way for his prosecution over a 1997 referendum on presidential elections which he is alleged to have thwarted.

Both Lexa and Krajči became deputies after Mečiar's party was defeated at last September's elections. Mečiar had previously used extraordinary amnesty powers to try to prevent prosecutions in either the referendum or the kidnapping cases.

Top stories

EU roaming fees to end on June 15 – in theory

Slovak customers still waiting to find out how mobile operators will implement change.

Archaeologist pieces together early history of what is now western Slovakia Photo

For an archaeologist, the most important thing is his most recent rare discovery, says Július Vavák.

Students visited Svätý Jur as part of their European Wanderer project

How to sell Slovak books to English readers

Slovak literature makes it to the big bookstores of London, but it is unlikely to become a bestseller yet.

On Wednesday, Slovak literature will be presented in one of the biggest bookstores in London. Among the new books translated into English is also the anthology of current Slovak prose selected and translated by Magdalena Mullek and Júlia Sherwood.

General Prosecutor filed a motion for the dissolution of ĽSNS

The Slovak Supreme Court received a motion to dissolve the extreme right ĽSNS party founded and led by Marian Kotleba.

Jaromír Čižnár