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Parliamentary committee refuses to hear from purported author of VSS report

The purported author of the report pointing to alleged embezzlement of public funds at the former Military Intelligence Service (VSS) was not allowed to confirm the veracity of the document in front of MPs on the defence and security committee. The committee declined to hear from Vladimír Suchodolinský, who describes himself as the author of the report, after Defence Minister Martin Glváč failed to release him from his oath of secrecy, the Sme daily reported on May 22. Glváč said he was seeking a way to do this.

The purported author of the report pointing to alleged embezzlement of public funds at the former Military Intelligence Service (VSS) was not allowed to confirm the veracity of the document in front of MPs on the defence and security committee. The committee declined to hear from Vladimír Suchodolinský, who describes himself as the author of the report, after Defence Minister Martin Glváč failed to release him from his oath of secrecy, the Sme daily reported on May 22. Glváč said he was seeking a way to do this.

On May 16 Sme published details from a 134-page report which alleged large-scale embezzlement of public funds by employees at the former VSS during the first government of Robert Fico (2006-2010). The daily says it received the document anonymously, and that it was probably based on an internal investigation of the VSS that began under former defence minister Ľubomír Galko.

The report included information about the purchase and reconstruction of an expensive residential property in Bratislava, which the state sold at a loss to a former VSS officer. Both of the then heads of the two military intelligence agencies – Juraj Šebo of the VSS and Ľubomír Skuhra of the Military Defence Intelligence (VOS) counterintelligence agency – allegedly knew about the transactions. The VSS and VOS have since been merged, and new Military Intelligence (VS) was established.

Suchodolinský told the media that he offered to recreate the report, the original of which had been shredded, for then VSS head Róbert Tibenský, who currently serves as the deputy head of the VS, in September 2012, but never received a response. Tibenský dismissed Suchodolinský’s comments as “misleading”. According to him, the purported author of the report was in 2012 authorised and obliged only to provide a witness statement in connection to the alleged embezzlement scandal, the TASR newswire wrote.

“This fact has been entered in written service records, which did not contain any such information about his offer to reconstruct the original text of the shredded document,” Tibenský said, as quoted by TASR, adding that Suchodolinský as an unauthorised person had access only to part of the documentation, which contained partial information about the case.

Tibenský also said that Suchodolinský, without the knowledge of his superiors, “took the documentation away from Slovak territory, where he stored it until October 2, 2012”. As of December 31, 2012, Suchodolinský was released from the intelligence service at his own request.

“If Mr Suchodolinský really informed me about his interest in reconstructing the original text of the report, the question is why he concealed the documents in question outside the territory of the Slovak Republic,” Tibenský said, as quoted by TASR.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Robert Fico responded to the accusations of the opposition aimed at Glváč for appointing Skuhra as director of VS, saying he has full confidence in Glváč, adding that he believes the minister will take due responsibility if the allegations of misuse of funds at the VSS prove to be true, TASR wrote.

“[Glváč] has nothing to do with this affair; he did not serve as defence minister prior to the current term. I trust him fully,” Fico told TASR, adding that the information provided in the media vis-à-vis the case is most confusing.

Sources: Sme, TASR

For more information about this story please see: Alleged author of VSS report steps forward, ready to discuss events

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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