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Kováč: Lexa's court victory highlights current state of judiciary

A decision made by a district court in Bratislava requiring former president Michal Kováč to apologise to former secret service (SIS) head Ivan Lexa and pay compensation of €3,319 for statements concerning the abduction of his son Michal Kováč Jr are proof of the current state of Slovakia's judiciary, the former president told the TASR newswire on Tuesday, June 14. Kováč told the Sme daily that he would appeal the verdict at a higher court, although he does not expect the court to overturn the verdict.

A decision made by a district court in Bratislava requiring former president Michal Kováč to apologise to former secret service (SIS) head Ivan Lexa and pay compensation of €3,319 for statements concerning the abduction of his son Michal Kováč Jr are proof of the current state of Slovakia's judiciary, the former president told the TASR newswire on Tuesday, June 14. Kováč told the Sme daily that he would appeal the verdict at a higher court, although he does not expect the court to overturn the verdict.

"One may give this a faint smile, but it also characterises the situation in our judiciary, with decisions made differently from what common sense would expect," said Kováč. The process took 15 years and had to be brought to an end. "But I didn't expect that it would turn out like this. It was an unpleasant surprise for me," said Kováč. Sme quoted Kováč as saying that, unfortunately, in Slovakia neither an ordinary man nor a former president can find justice.

The former head of state expressed his hope that a KDH proposal to scrap the amnesties granted by then-acting president Vladimír Mečiar in 1998 to those involved in the abduction may be successful in parliament this time, as it has been passed to its second reading. The proposal needs the support of 90 MPs, however. It has been claimed that the SIS under Lexa's direction was involved in the abduction of Michal Kováč Jr. to Austria in 1995. Lexa was one of Mečiar's closest associates during his reign in the 1990s.

Sources: TASR, Sme

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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