NEWS BRIEFS

Director of Secret Police recalled

Ivan Lexa, the Director of the Slovak Information Service (SIS), was recalled from his post by the outgoing cabinet of former Premier Vladimír Mečiar on October 27. His successor, Rudolf Žiak, will take over the post as of October 29.

It is expected that Lexa will be offered the Parliamentary deputy's mandate won by Mečiar in national elections on September 25 and 26. Lexa had been in 49th position on the candidates list of the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia(HZDS), too low down to win a seat in Parliament. Parliamentary deputies, among other things, enjoy immunity from prosecution during their terms in office.

The SIS has been in some turmoil recently, with the daily newspaper Sme reporting on October 26 that 150 SIS employees had asked to be released from their service contracts. The point of the requests, the paper claimed, was that the dismissed employyes could claim five months salary in compensation, money that might not be awarded by a new director appointed by the new government.

The Slovak secret service has been criticised by domestic politicians and foreign diplomats for its activities in support of the former Mečiar government.

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