NEWS BRIEFS

Former SIS deputy chief dies

JAROSLAV Svěchota, the former deputy chief of the Slovak Intelligence Service, died in Bratislava's Krámare hospital November 8, aged 63.

He served as deputy SIS chief under the 1994-1998 government of ex-PM Vladimír Mečiar. His boss at the time was Mečiar's party peer, Ivan Lexa.

According to the TASR news agency, the ex-spy was hospitalised due to serious spinal problems October 7, and was set to undergo surgery.

Svěchota had survived several serious heart attacks in recent years and was once even diagnosed as being clinically dead.

He had been in trouble with the law himself on more than one occasion. In the most recent case, Svěchota was implicated in the embezzlement of Sk11 million (€276,000).

Svěchota was held in pre-trial custody for several months in 1998 following the investigation into the 1995 kidnapping of Michal Kováč Junior, son of the former Slovak president.

Following Svěchota's death, the charges against him should be dropped.

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