THE BRATISLAVA Regional Court on June 15 found Jaroslav Svechota, former deputy chief of the Slovak Intelligence Service (SIS), guilty of embezzling Sk11 million (€275,000) while in office, and gave him a five-year suspended sentence during which any breach of the law will result in two years in prison, the news wire TASR wrote.
Svechota, who used his right to remain silent, was meted out a lower verdict due to the condition of his health. He has survived a number of heart attacks and cardiac arrest.
Of the Sk18 million (€450,000) Svechota took from the SIS treasury to buy surveillance equipment in 1998, he spent a portion but failed to account for Sk11 million, which has remained missing to date. He will have to repay the sum to the SIS.
The verdict is open to appeal and not yet effective.
Earlier in the court proceeding, former SIS chief Ivan Lexa, whom Svechota named as having ordered the Sk18 million equipment purchase, used his right to remain silent in the case.
Both Lexa and Svechota were implicated but have never been found guilty in the infamous kidnapping of former president Michal Kovac’s son, Michal Kovac Jr, in August 1995.
Compiled by Beata Balogová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
16. Jun 2004 at 9:42