Slovakia’s two military intelligence services – the Military Intelligence Service (VSS) and Military Defence Intelligence (VOS), which deals with counter-intelligence – will be united in a single institution called Military Intelligence as of January 1, after 84 MPs backed the move in a vote in parliament on Wednesday, September 19.
The government has publicly committed itself to preventing any leaks of secret documents and to trying to restore the trustworthiness of the intelligence services, but the opposition criticised the merger, saying that it could not restore people's trust in the intelligence services. Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) MP Martin Fedor (who served as defence minister in 2006) described the legislation as a "repainted facade", while Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) MP and former defence minister Ľubomir Galko called it 'cheap PR', as quoted by the TASR newswire.
The ministry dismissed the criticism, however, claiming that substantial changes will follow in the form of further comprehensive legislation on the secret services, which is currently being prepared.
Improperly authorised wiretapping of journalists carried out by the VOS during Galko’s tenure resulted in his dismissal and the sacking of several VOS employees last year.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
20. Sep 2012 at 10:00