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Ex-spy boss Lexa wins lawsuit against Slovakia

Ivan Lexa, former boss of the Slovak Information Service (SIS), the country’s intelligence agency, has won his lawsuit against Slovakia.

Ivan Lexa, former boss of the Slovak Information Service (SIS), the country’s intelligence agency, has won his lawsuit against Slovakia.

He filed complaints with the European Court for Human Rights (ECHR) in September 1999 against what he claimed was his unlawful detention following the abduction of the son of former Slovak President Michal Kováč.

The court dismissed his request for non-pecuniary damages. His only monetary gain from the verdict was one euro.

However, Slovakia will have to pay €8,000 of the original €17,652 he accrued in legal costs. The verdict will come into effect within three months if neither party appeals.

The entire saga dates back to September 1999, when Lexa filed a complaint with the ECHR claiming that the investigation had violated his constitutional rights and the presumption of innocence. He objected to being labelled a criminal by the-then Interior Minister Ladislav Pittner, Slovakia's chief investigator Jaroslav Ivor and other top state officials.

Lexa stood accused of organising the murder of late police officer Robert Remiáš, abduction, sabotage, robbery, treason, abuse of power and other crimes. However, the courts dropped all charges against him due to amnesty granted by former Acting President Vladimír Mečiar. SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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