Slovak diplomats still do not know where Iranian officials are holding a Slovak national, 26-year-old Matej Valúch, who was arrested last week on suspicion of spying. Despite repeated telephone requests and notes, Slovak representatives in Iran have not yet been permitted to meet the suspect, the TASR newswire wrote.
Slovak Foreign Ministry spokesperson Boris Gandel said that the ministry had been engaged in the matter and plans to take appropriate measures.
“Unfortunately, it is common practice,” Drewery Dyke, a researcher on Iran at human rights organisation Amnesty International, told the Sme daily. “Until he is charged, he may not [even have a chance to] talk to lawyers. And this can last months.”
Meanwhile, two former foreign ministers called on the current minister, Miroslav Lajčák, to act quickly and uncompromisingly. Eduard Kukan as well as Mikuláš Dzurinda (both of the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ)) said they believe that the claims about Valúch are made up and that the that the document in which he apparently confessed his work for the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is a kind of propaganda, Sme wrote on January 23.
Civic activist Pavol Demeš suggested that Slovakia should invite the European Union to get involved in the case, Sme reported.
According to information published by the Iranian press agency Mehr on January 17, the Slovak was arrested along with other members of an alleged CIA spy ring that was uncovered by Iranian intelligence thanks to “consistent and prompt operations” carried out partly in France and other countries. Valúch is alleged to have been gathering information on Iran’s nuclear programme.
The Slovak has been shown apparently confessing to spying in a video broadcast by Iranian state television, TASR wrote.
Sources: TASR, Sme
For more information about this story please see: Slovak detained in Iran, accused of spying for CIA
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
23. Jan 2013 at 10:00