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Deputy Soboňa Says Intelligence Service was monitoring Minister Simon

THE SLOVAK Intelligence Service (SIS) was monitoring Agriculture Minister Zsolt Simon, stated the head of the parliamentary committee supervising SIS activities, Viliam Soboňa on radio station Expres, the SITA news agency reported.

Soboňa specified that he has acquired documentary evidence to support the claim. The committee will discuss the matter on November 10. It should decide whether the monitoring was justified and within the law. Soboňa said he is unhappy with the SIS action as he is convinced that agricultural activities are not sufficient justification for wiretapping.

Agriculture Minister Zsolt Simon, who represents the Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) in the cabinet, recently survived a scandal in which his ministry allocated subsidies to a company he owned. Unlike Simon his State Secretary, Christian-Democrat Marián Radošovský (KDH), whose company also got subsides from the ministry, decided to step down over a similar revelation.

However, SIS insists it has not in any way examined information related to subsidies provided by the Agriculture Ministry to companies owned by Simon and Radošovský. The SIS confirmed in its response that there is no suspicion of criminal activity in these cases.

On the other hand, SMK head Béla Bugár says they suspect that their minister was shadowed. He said that if the monitoring was confirmed and if it even turned out that it was at odds with the law heads, will roll in SIS. Bugár said he has opened up the SIS issue several times with the prime minister and also SIS director Ladislav Pittner. He stated that some SIS practices turn his stomach.

Compiled by Marta Ďurianová from press reports
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