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Police to be given authority to wiretap 'extremists'

A proposed new law will allow police officers to employ undercover agents and engage in eavesdropping when pursuing what the government calls 'extremists'. The proposed changes to the Penal Code have already been approved by ministers and are now heading to parliament, the TASR newswire reported on February 22.

A proposed new law will allow police officers to employ undercover agents and engage in eavesdropping when pursuing what the government calls 'extremists'. The proposed changes to the Penal Code have already been approved by ministers and are now heading to parliament, the TASR newswire reported on February 22.

“It will be possible to employ agents to deal with crimes of defamation [on grounds of] nation, race and conviction, incitement to national, racial and ethnic hatred, and the crime of supporting and propagating groups aimed at suppression of fundamental rights and liberties,” said Justice Ministry spokesperson Jana Zlatohlávková, as quoted by TASR, adding that the provisions will cover people suspected of committing the offences of denying the Holocaust and the crimes committed by Slovakia's fascist and communist former regimes.

The Justice Ministry has previously complained that extremists have been careful not to express their sentiments publicly, which has made it difficult to uncover them. The ministry expects that the proposed amendment will change the situation.

The amendment also introduces tougher punishment for crimes motivated by ethnic and racial hatred. A new feature of the amendment will be crimes motivated by hatred based on the sexual orientation of the victims, Zlatohlávková added.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
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