VLADIMÍR Mečiar, the three-time former PM, attacked a photojournalist and broke her camera, the daily SME has reported.
Iveta Komendová was on an assignment for the newspaper Nový Čas at Košice-Šaca, a private hospital where Mečiar is being treated for breathing problems, when the incident took place on September 30.
According to SME, after Komendová snapped a photo of Mečiar he lunged at the journalist and grabbed the camera hanging around her neck.
Mečiar then demanded that she give him the film. When Komendová refused, Mečiar broke the camera's flash.
Komendová has since filed criminal charges against Mečiar, with the backing of her paper.
Mečiar's party, the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia, has defended his actions. "There are ethical limits that not even tabloids such as Nový Čas should transgress," reads their statement.
Mečiar has a history of clashing with journalists. Prior to the 2002 parliamentary elections, he attacked a reporter from JOJ TV, who had asked Mečiar how he had financed his luxurious villa, Elektra, in Trenčianské Teplice.
11. Oct 2004 at 0:00 | From press reports