Interior Minister Daniel Lipšic (Christian Democratic Movement (KDH)) on Thursday, March 31, told MPs on parliament's constitutional committee that all tapping of telephones currently being carried out by Slovakia's security authorities is legal and authorised by court orders.
Lipšic was speaking at the request of the committee, which wanted him to provide more details about wiretapping policy following claims made earlier in the month by former construction minister and opposition MP Igor Štefanov (Slovak National Party (SNS)), who asserted that around 40 MPs and selected journalists have been subject to eavesdropping, and that the practice has been taking place with Lipšic's consent. Štefanov provided no evidence to back his claims at the time he made them, and has not done so since.
Lipšic told MPs that he now plans to press charges against Štefanov over his statements, and will do so in a civil court. "Mr Štefanov, even though [he is] legitimately suspected of having committed a crime, shouldn't dare to say anything he wants," emphasised the minister, as quoted by the TASR newswire.
Lipšic also noted that the opposition is now complaining based on a rumour that lacks any evidence whatsoever. "You simply can't expect a minister or courts to confute rumours and hearsay. I won't be telling you who's wiretapped and who's not. Give me evidence, and not rumours. You're making a farce out of this," Lipšic told opposition members of the committee. The minister said he could guarantee that all wiretapping activities are legal. "But if you want me to give you a guarantee that politicians won't be eavesdropped on, I can never give you that."
However, the opposition was unhappy with his explanations and guarantees. Speaking in response, Štefanov said that Lipšic only wanted to "make himself visible" in the wake of KDH voter support "plummeting" in recent polls, TASR reported. Štefanov added that he and the SNS are expecting Lipšic to continue to attack them in future.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
1. Apr 2011 at 10:00