Radio Twist reporter Karol Lovaš woke up on May 14 to discover that hundreds of leaflets, bearing his photograph and accusations that he was a homosexual pedophile, had been distributed around the Bratislava housing estate of Dolné Hony.
"I was totally shocked," said Lovaš. "I'm neither a rapist, nor a homosexual, and I don't have anything to do with porno cassettes."
The leaflets also carried a picture of Slavomír Klikušovský, a reporter with Slovakia's largest daily newspaper, Nový Čas. Under the headline "People Beware!!!," the flier warned the public that "two homosexuals live in your neighborhood, at Bodrocká ul. 4, that are sexually abusing underage boys." After identifying Lovaš and Klikušovský by name, the leaflet claimed that "they are living in a flat rented from a certain movie director, where they make homosexual pornographic tapes with young boys."
The leaflets were signed by "a crying and unhappy mother, whose son these two beasts abused."
Lovaš accused the government of being behind the campaign to discredit him. "On the one hand, it may be part of a campaign against Radio Twist (see related story, page 2), but I think it's more an attempt to intimidate and frighten me personally," he said. "I was warned that I should leave Radio Twist, because something was being prepared against me. This news came to me indirectly, as a result of an interview I did with Jozef Krošlák, Premier Vladimír Mečiar's former spokesman, who had to leave because of [what he said to Lovaš during an interview]."
Lovaš went on to cite run-ins that he had had with former Mečiar spokeswomen Magda Pospíšilová and Ľudmila Buláková, as well as Parliamentary Speaker Ivan Gašparovič and Mečiar himself. "I think that because of the work I have done, I was chosen for this attack," he said. "The people who are behind it are the ones who were the most displeased with my reporting."
Klikušovský told the daily paper Sme that he had been "contacted by a man who identified himself as a member of the Slovak Intelligence Service [SIS]," and told that if Lovaš did not quit his job at Twist by May 13, a discreditation campaign would be launched against him on May 14. Klikušovský said it was not the first time that the SIS had asked him for information on media figures, and added that he had decided to leave Slovakia for a month for safety reasons.
Marta Bujňáková, with the Bratislava Regional Police, told the state-run news agency TASR that so far, no one had filed any charges either against Lovaš or Klikušovský, or against any two men on charges of abusing young boys.