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Ex-minister says police illegally used mobile phone-tracking equipment

On May 14, the former Interior Minister and independent MP Vladimír Palko reported what he described as unusual happenings at police headquarters. As a member of the parliamentary committee on Defence and Security, he reportedly learned that in early April, electronic equipment was used several times to track the location of mobile phones without court approval [as required under Slovak law], the SITA newswire reported. Palko said the equipment was used to search for phones with 75 separate numbers during a three-day period, but that no judicial approval was sought or obtained. He alleged that the first to use the equipment was Police First Vice President Michal Kopcčík, who had earlier requested a Slovak manual for the equipment.

On May 14, the former Interior Minister and independent MP Vladimír Palko reported what he described as unusual happenings at police headquarters. As a member of the parliamentary committee on Defence and Security, he reportedly learned that in early April, electronic equipment was used several times to track the location of mobile phones without court approval [as required under Slovak law], the SITA newswire reported. Palko said the equipment was used to search for phones with 75 separate numbers during a three-day period, but that no judicial approval was sought or obtained. He alleged that the first to use the equipment was Police First Vice President Michal Kopcčík, who had earlier requested a Slovak manual for the equipment.

Reacting to Palko’s statement, current Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák said that the case was not really about use of equipment, but about changes at the Interior Ministry. According to Kaliňák, the equipment Palko referred to is only able to indicate whether there are mobile phones in its proximity, and not which specific phone numbers, as Palko reported. The minister also said that Palko’s statement that the equipment was used to identify 75 phone numbers was also misleading. Kaliňák said that the police officers who informed Palko about the case were mistaken. SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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