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Further witness testifies in VSS case

The case of alleged financial fraud at the former Military Intelligence Service (VSS) has produced another witness. Former military attaché in Turkey Ivan Macko reportedly informed current Defence Minister Martin Glváč about the dubious practices at VSS, saying that after he had done so he lost his job, the Sme daily reported on May 29.

The case of alleged financial fraud at the former Military Intelligence Service (VSS) has produced another witness. Former military attaché in Turkey Ivan Macko reportedly informed current Defence Minister Martin Glváč about the dubious practices at VSS, saying that after he had done so he lost his job, the Sme daily reported on May 29.

Macko is another witness in the case of the alleged embezzlement at the VSS during the first government of Robert Fico (2006-10), about which Sme originally reported in its May 16 issue.

A 134-page report published by the daily alleged large-scale embezzlement of public funds by employees at the VSS; Sme says it received the document anonymously, and that it is probably based on an internal investigation into the VSS that started under Ľubomír Galko, defence minister in 2010-11.

The report includes 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) counter-intelligence agency – allegedly knew about the transactions. The VSS and VOS have since been merged into a single agency, Military Intelligence (VS), now led by Skuhra.

Macko, speaking at a session of the special parliamentary committee for overseeing the activities of VS, said he investigated the conditions under which one building was built when VSS was led by Šebo. He did not say which building was in question or where it stood, Sme wrote, but reported his findings. The reports, with evidence, are allegedly still at VS. While Skuhra remains at the head of the institution it is not clear that the suspicions will really be investigated, Macko alleged, as reported by Sme.

Glváč responded that he had sent the documents to the department of domestic security. He added that Macko’s dismissal was the result of “ordinary personnel solution of new management”, as reported by Sme.

Robert Tibenský, the deputy head of VS, said in an official statement that Macko cannot prove his statements, and that he admitted last October that the analysis made in 2010 does not contain a conclusion confirming any violation of law, Sme wrote.

Glváč repeated that the document received by Sme was not authentic.

Meanwhile, Galko started to collect signatures calling for Glváč’s dismissal, explaining that the minister had still not fired Skuhra from his current post despite public appeals, the SITA newswire wrote.

Sources: Sme, SITA

For more information about this story please see: Spy agency embroiled in corruption claims

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
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