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Defence minister sacked over wiretapping of journalists

Only a day and a half after media reports were published about several journalists being wiretapped by the Military Defense Intelligence (VOS), Prime Minister Iveta Radičová moved to dismiss Ľubomír Galko as defence minister, the Sme daily reported on November 23.

Only a day and a half after media reports were published about several journalists being wiretapped by the Military Defense Intelligence (VOS), Prime Minister Iveta Radičová moved to dismiss Ľubomír Galko as defence minister, the Sme daily reported on November 23.

“The wiretapping of journalists, and it is not important whether it was legal or illegal, is incompatible with the basic principles of the state of law and democracy, [which is] the basis of the current government,” Radičová said, as quoted by Sme.

Radičová said she was not able to inform Galko that she intended to ask President Gašparovič to relieve him of his duties as he was not answering his phone. She said that she, together with three directors of the intelligence services, had waited to speak to him for at least two hours. Galko was reportedly attending a meeting of his Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party, and told Radičová (who is a member of the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ)) that he could not meet her.

While the leaders of the other two ruling parties, Ján Figeľ of the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) and Béla Bugár of Most-Híd, welcomed Radičová’s decision, SaS leader Richard Sulík said that he had not been informed of Radičová’s intention to dismiss Galko.

“I consider such behaviour impolite and incorrect,” Sulík said, as quoted by Sme, adding that the continuous attacks on Galko were merely part of the election campaign.

SaS has said it believes that Galko made no mistake since the wiretapping was legal, and that it does not intend to remove him from its list of candidates for the general election in March.

Source: Sme

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
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