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Prime Minister asks intelligence service to screen SIS candidate

Prime Minister Robert Fico (Smer) said on April 16 that he has asked the current leadership of the Slovak Intelligence Service (SIS) to carry out a security screening of a potential candidate to be its new director, the TASR newswire reported.

Prime Minister Robert Fico (Smer) said on April 16 that he has asked the current leadership of the Slovak Intelligence Service (SIS) to carry out a security screening of a potential candidate to be its new director, the TASR newswire reported.

Fico did not directly specify a name but it is widely assumed that Ján Valko, the former head of the state-run Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (JAVYS), will be nominated. Fico said that he would release the name after May 2 or maybe "one week later".

"After the security screening is carried out and is in order, a proposal [on the candidate's appointment] can go to the government and Mr. President [Ivan Gašparovič]. It obviously wouldn't be appropriate if the new SIS director did his own security screening," Fico stated, as quoted by TASR.

Fico also praised what he called SIS's professionalism under the leadership of Karol Mitrík from the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ). "I believe that the new leadership will continue in this trend," Fico said.

Fico also said that the former head of the Slovak Intelligence Service (SIS), Jozef Magala, would be an appropriate candidate for the post of director of the National Security Bureau (NBÚ) director.

"Mr Magala is a highly experienced person," Fico told TASR, referring to Magala's term as SIS director in 2006-2010. Fico considers SIS's achievements during Magala's and Mitrík's terms as highly professional and in compliance with the law. Fico did not definitely confirm who will replace the current NBÚ director, František Blanárik. “We are working with this name (of Magala) as a candidate," the prime minister said, adding that needs to speak to Magala about the position.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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