Police ask deputies to lift Lexa's immunity

Police investigators have finally delivered a request to lift parliamentary immunity from former Slovak Intelligence Service Director and Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) deputy Ivan Lexa.
Only after stripping Lexa of the immunity from prosecution he enjoys as a member of parliament can the police launch a criminal prosecution case examining the abduction of Michal Kováč Jr., the son of the former president, to Austria in August 1996.
On the first day of February, Jaroslav Ivor, the head of the Interior Ministry's investigation section, told the press that a police investigator would ask parliament to allow the criminal prosecution of Lexa and Gustáv Krajči, which requires a parliamentary vote on lifting their immunity.

Police investigators have finally delivered a request to lift parliamentary immunity from former Slovak Intelligence Service Director and Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) deputy Ivan Lexa.

Only after stripping Lexa of the immunity from prosecution he enjoys as a member of parliament can the police launch a criminal prosecution case examining the abduction of Michal Kováč Jr., the son of the former president, to Austria in August 1996.

On the first day of February, Jaroslav Ivor, the head of the Interior Ministry's investigation section, told the press that a police investigator would ask parliament to allow the criminal prosecution of Lexa and Gustáv Krajči, which requires a parliamentary vote on lifting their immunity.

But police investigators did not even deliver the official request to lift Lexa's immunity until February 26, two days after immunity was successfully lifted from Krajči. The initial request to prosecute Krajči, on the other hand, was delivered to parliament weeks earlier in mid-February.

The official reason for the delay with Lexa's case was that the investigators had the flu. The police also said they wanted to strengthen their case with some facts from a report on SIS activities under the government of Vladimír Mečiar, which was presented by SIS head Vladimír Mitro in parliament on February 12. However, the opposition HZDS says that the real reason behind the delayed police request is lack of evidence against Lexa.

Lexa has turned for support to General Prosecutor Milan Hanzel, and maintains that the investigation into the alleged abduction of Kováč Jr. to Austria is "illegal and anti-constitutional" because former president Vladimír Mečiar granted an amnesty to anyone involved in the kidnapping case in March 1998. He appealed to Hanzel to "inspect with full responsibility all suspicions... against the investigators and other representatives of the police who are committing these obviously illegal acts." Mečiar's amnesty clause was repealed in December by current Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda.

Lexa denies being involved or having anything to do with the abduction. He also denies that the SIS could have been involved in the kidnapping. He has added that speculations that he would flee Slovakia if he is stripped of his immunity are senseless.

Under the Slovak Constitution, members of parliament cannot be prosecuted for any crime - even murder - until their state-granted immunity is lifted from them by a majority parliamentary vote. The Lexa case is not due to be discussed in parliament until the start of its next session in mid-March.

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