Wire-tapped media case leads to suits

POLICE have concluded the case of surveillance of journalists in the era of ex-defence minister Ľubomír Galko from Freedom and Solidarity party (SaS) with a proposal to sue five Military Defence Intelligence (VOS) employees including its ex-head Pavol Brychta.

Ľubomír Galko on bilboard during 2012 election campaign. Ľubomír Galko on bilboard during 2012 election campaign. (Source: Sme )

POLICE have concluded the case of surveillance of journalists in the era of ex-defence minister Ľubomír Galko from Freedom and Solidarity party (SaS) with a proposal to sue five Military Defence Intelligence (VOS) employees including its ex-head Pavol Brychta.

“The prosecutor will decide on further steps after he scrutinises the documents,” said General Prosecutor Office’s spokesperson Andrea Predajňová, as quoted by the Pravda daily.

The scandal surfaced in 2011 when somebody published records from the wiretapping of phone conversations of Robert Kaliňák with a reporter of the Pravda daily, Vanda Vavrová. Later it turned out that the counterintelligence also monitored additional people including ex-director of TA3 news channel Michal Gučík. Altogether, the rights of 13 persons were violated.

Galko is a witness in the case. He insists he had nothing in common with the monitoring.

“My personal opinion is that the law was not violated,” Galko said, as quoted by the Sme daily.

Prosecutor Jozef Čentéš will deal with the case and decide whether VOS employees will be sued.

In 2011 the ensuing scandal resulted in Galko’s resignation from the defence minister post, where he was nominated by SaS. The party was then backing its minister, arguing that the wiretaps were performed legally and were intended to uncover criminal activity. The party also said that Galko’s sacking and other developments in the scandal were actually attacks on the party.

Galko’s successor Martin Glváč apologised to Gučík for the wiretapping but Gučík is continuing with a complaint he filed with the courts in which he is seeking financial compensation of €750,000, although he says he will not keep the money if the court decides in his favour, the SITA newswire reported on August 24, 2012.

“I said that it is not about the money; money is only the pretext for something to happen,” stated Gučík, as quoted by SITA.

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