The defectors

Vojtech Tkáč
photo: TASR

Vojtech Tkáč

Tkáč is widely respected as a specialist in the field of labour and social-security law. In fact, the current head of the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, and Family (MSVPR), Ľudovít Kaník, has said he wants to collaborate with Tkáč on pension reform.

He has a long career in related fields. In 1972 Tkáč started working as a university professor. He stopped teaching in 1987, and went on to hold various high-ranking posts in the labour unions.

In 1993 Tkáč became deputy minister at the MSVPR. He joined the HZDS in 1994, and he was elected an MP for that party in the same year. In November 1995 Tkáč reclaimed the post of deputy minister at the MSVPR under Minister Oľga Keltošová. From February 1998 to October of that year Tkáč headed the ministry.

Speculation about Tkáč and Keltošová's efforts to form a reform group within the HZDS first appeared in 2000. The two criticized the statutes of the party for giving too much power to the party leader, and also called for the leadership to reflect on the party's past mistakes.

Rudolf Žiak
photo: TASR

Rudolf Žiak

Žiak served as director of foreign intelligence at the Slovak Information Service (SIS) from April 1995 to 1998, when disgraced SIS director Ivan Lexa was in charge. In 1998 he briefly headed the agency.

In 2000 investigators claimed that Žiak, along with two other SIS members, collaborated on the creation of a specialised unit within the secret service that prepared proposals aimed at threatening the integration ambitions of central European countries. Among other actions, the unit was accused of trying to activate neo-fascist groups to stir up anti-Roma feeling, in order to give the former communist countries a bad name with the West.

When he fell under investigation, Žiak left the country. While police were searching for him, he was spotted at one of eight inauguration balls of US president George W Bush. All charges against him were later dropped.

Gustáv Krajči
photo: TASR

Gustáv Krajči

After working as a teacher in several schools, in 1993 Krajči became head of the Spišská Nová Ves district office. In August 1996 he was appointed interior minister.

In 1997 Krajči was accused by critics of obstructing a nationwide referendum on the country's entry into NATO and the direct election of the Slovak president. The referendum, called by President Michal Kováč, was supposed to include four questions. The first three, proposed by the HZDS-controlled parliament, were related to the country's NATO entry. The last one, asking people whether they agreed with the introduction of direct presidential elections, was added based on a civic petition.

The central referendum committee approved the ballots with four questions, but interior minister and central referendum committee member Krajči ordered that only ballots with three questions be distributed to the election rooms. The fourth question was missing, invalidating the vote.

Prosecution is not possible due to amnesties issued by Mečiar in March 1998, which prevent criminal proceedings connected with the obstruction of the 1997 referendum.

Jozef Brhel
photo: TASR

Jozef Brhel

From 1993 to 1994 Brhel was general director of the National Agency for the Development of Small- and Mid-Size Enterprises. During the following four years he held the position of deputy minister at the Economy Ministry. He has been an MP for HZDS since the 1998 parliamentary elections.

A former high-school classmate of Ivan Lexa, Brhel allegedly has close ties with the former SIS boss. He and Krajči visited South Africa when Lexa was in hiding in the country, although both denied meeting him.

Brhel admitted that he met Supreme Court boss Štefan Harabin on August 12, just a week before Lexa was released from custody based on a decision of the Supreme Court. Brhel says he did not try to influence the decision of the judiciary body.

Miroslav Abelovský
photo: TASR

Miroslav Abelovský

Abelovský is an attorney and a substitute member of the directorate of the Slovak Bar Association. When Mečiar was accused of illegally paying cabinet members bonuses, Abelovský acted as his defending attorney.

Abelovský is currently the vice-chair of the parliamentary constitutional and legislative committee and was recently selected by speaker of parliament Pavol Hrušovský to defend the current abortion law at Constitutional Court hearings.

- Lukáš Fila

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