THE SLOVAK Intelligence Service (SIS) was monitoring Agriculture Minister Zsolt Simon, stated the head of the parliamentary committee supervising SIS activities, Viliam Soboňa in an interview with Expres radio.
Soboňa said that he has acquired documentary evidence to support the claim. The committee was scheduled to 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, the SITA news agency wrote.
In addition to Simon, Viliam Veteška, the deputy speaker of Slovak parliament, said that he had been monitored and surveyed by SIS in the past.
Agriculture Minister Zsolt Simon, a member of the Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK), recently survived a scandal because his ministry allocated subsidies to a company he owned. Unlike Simon his deputy minister, Christian-Democrat Marián Radošovský (KDH), whose company also got subsides from the ministry, decided to step down over a similar revelation.
However, the 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 turns out that it was at odds with the law, heads would roll at the SIS.
Bugár said he has addressed the SIS issue several times with the prime minister and also SIS director Ladislav Pittner. The SMK leader stated that some SIS practices turn his stomach.
14. Nov 2005 at 0:00 | From press reports