NEWS IN SHORT

Opposition MPs seek VSS debate

ALLEGATIONS of embezzlement in the Military Intelligence Service (VSS) by its management under the first government of Robert Fico are likely to be discussed in parliament despite the fact that MPs from the ruling Smer party have refused to add it to the programme of the current session.

ALLEGATIONS of embezzlement in the Military Intelligence Service (VSS) by its management under the first government of Robert Fico are likely to be discussed in parliament despite the fact that MPs from the ruling Smer party have refused to add it to the programme of the current session.

Opposition parties grouped within the People’s Platform have already requested an extraordinary session to be convened to discuss the matter, which the speaker must convene at the request of at least 30 MPs.

The allegations concern large-scale embezzlement of public funds through the military intelligence agency, now part of the Military Intelligence (VS). The Sme daily originally broke the story, citing an anonymous 134-page file leaked from the military intelligence agencies, on May 16.

The file contains information about alleged fraud pertaining to 15 expensive residential properties in Bratislava, as well as cars, which supposedly ended up in the personal ownership of VSS officers and their relatives. Both of the then directors 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 the VOS have since been merged and the new organisation, Military Intelligence (VS), is led by Skuhra, Sme reported.

Some former officers of the VSS are expected to be relieved of their oath of confidentiality at the request of the special prosecutor’s office, the Aktualne.sk news portal reported on June 4.

Meanwhile, the parliamentary committee to oversee the VS acknowledged a report by opposition MP and committee chairman Martin Fedor, which says that there are serious suspicions of unlawful conduct in the VSS during the first government of Robert Fico, and that there are testimonies about unhealthy relations within the military intelligence and information about indirect pressure in the recent past, as well as after the two agencies were joined into the VS, Sme reported.

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