Three cases that could be reopened after the "Slovak Watergate"

Mečiar’s amnesties are void. Who might end up in jail?

Former SIS director Ivan LexaFormer SIS director Ivan Lexa (Source: Sme archive)

The Constitutional Court ruled on May 31 that the blanket amnesties issued by former prime minister Vladimír Mečiar as acting president in 1997, covering the kidnapping of the president’s son and the thwarted referendum, are void.

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Read also: Mečiar amnesties scrapped Read more 

As a result, several prosecution and court processes that have been on hold for almost 20 years will now be re-launched.

1. Lexa may face jail time

Former director of the intelligence service SIS, Ivan Lexa, is one of the 13 people charged with the kidnapping of Michal Kováč Jr in 1995. Many of the persons accused of the kidnapping were in high positions in SIS at that time. The Bratislava III District Court will deal with the case and decide if the case should be reopened, stopped, or whether an inquiry should be made with the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg to determine if it is in line with EU rules, David Lindtner, the court chairman, told the Sme daily.

The court will also open another case, concerning the unlawful destruction of the vehicle that the SIS used to monitor Kovac Jr before the kidnapping. David Lindtner believes the scrapping of amnesties also concerns this case, he told Sme. In this case, Lexa is accused together with four other SIS agents.

Lexa already announced he will turn to the European Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg, with a complaint that the prosecution against him is unlawful. His attorney Marek Para told the Denník N daily that his client was not going to avoid the process and actively defend himself.

Questions that he might possibly leave the country have arisen also because when he was first released in 2000, he left the country and remained in hiding in South Africa, despite the fact that there being criminal prosecution against him in several cases.

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In 2002, Lexa was charged with the murder of Róbert Remiáš, under the allegations that the former spy chief had ordered the killing through Bratislava mob boss Miroslav Sýkora, who was in turn gunned down in front of a hotel in February 1997. In 2006, Special Prosecutor Dušan Kováčik withdrew the charges citing a lack of evidence.

The criminal prosecution in the case was re-opened last year, shortly before the 20th anniversary of the murder. Nobody has been charged yet.

Read also: Remiáš murder resurfaces Read more 

2. Mečiar’s interior minister might have to answer for referendum

Gustáv Krajči, interior minister in Mečiar’s government, faced criminal charges for thwarting the 1997 referendum. His case, which was covered by the now scrapped amnesties, will now be re-opened. The criminal complaint against Krajči was filed after the vote in 1997 and the prosecutor pressed charges against him in June 1999, after the then-prime minister Mikuláš Dzurinda attempted to scrap the amnesties.

In June 2000, the case was suspended and archived due to the amnesties. The courts have now re-opened the case. Krajči claims all he wants is for his case to be wrapped up after so many years, and that he is ready to participate in the court process if it is launched, Sme reported.

Read also: Government mars referendum Read more 

3. Kováč Jr’s case will be dealt with too

Together with Mečiar amnesties, also the individual pardon for Michal Kováč Jr in the Technopol case has been scrapped. President Michal Kováč granted the pardon to his son in 1997, in connection with the charges that the prosecutor pressed against Kováč Jr in 1995. He was suspected of fraud.

As the pardon was granted, the prosecutors will decide on the case based on archive materials. The prosecutors might close the case, in line with the ruling of the court in Munich that closed the proceedings against Kováč Jr in 2000, the Sme daily reported.

Kováč is currently the head of the Slovak economic and cultural office in Taiwan. His attorney, Ján Havlát, is convinced that the case will be closed immediately.

In fact, there has never been any evidence against Kováč Jr in the Technopol case that concerns fictitious trade in clothes. He has officially never had anything to do with the company. The only link between him and the case is the former police officer Peter Krylov who claimed Kováč Jr encouraged him to organise the fraud.

Read also: Scrapping the Mečiar amnesties is similar to the Watergate scandal Read more 

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