Vladimír Mečiar, who had signed the much-disputed amnesties surrounding the abduction of the son of then-president Michal Kováč – and the related crimes – told a talk show host that the Constitutional Court is not able to confirm their revocation.
“The amnesties have not been rescinded and are still effective,” Mečiar told the Sobotné dialógy (Saturday Dialogues) political talk show on the public TV station RTVS on June 10. He said that the Constitutional Court had overstepped their jurisdiction when they ruled on the amnesties.
“I feel sorry for the Constitutional Court judges who betrayed their principles,” the former prime minister also said, refusing to use the term “Mečiar amnesties”. He stressed that others had been involved in shaping the amnesties. “Those were the amnesties of my government which I signed, and I stand firmly behind them,” Mečiar said.
Mečiar criticises politicians
Mečiar spoke on the pressure placed by politicians to rescind the amnesties, suggesting that President Andrej Kiska, Prime Minister Robert Fico, Speaker of Parliament Andrej Danko (of coalition partner SNS) and coalition Most-Híd chairman Béla Bugár have not yet felt the full implications of their political decisions. He did not express confidence in Slovakia’s state institutions, suggesting that the parliament and the Constitutional Court are ignorant of the ruling’s repercussions.
Mečiar said he is not afraid of facing an investigation because his conscience is clear. He said that every citizen of the country, himself included, deserves to enjoy the due process of the law in a fair trial.
The former PM also said that he feels no culpability in connection with the amnesties. “We did a good thing for the people,” he said, “and we did it in the interest of democratic principles”.
He explained that at the time that the amnesties were granted, the culminating election was being closely watched from abroad. He said that his government wanted to prevent the abduction case and its investigation from interfering with the election campaign.
Mečiar also stressed that every step taken by his government was legal. He said that the media are today imposing false information on citizens.
Mečiar defends the amnesties
The former PM also said that the investigation of the abduction of the son of then-president, Michal Kováč Jr. abroad was stopped because a witness was not in the country.
The talk show broadcast a recording of a conversation from the 1990s between then-head of SIS intelligence service Ivan Lexa, then-interior minister Ľudovít Hudek, and Mečiar. The recording discusses a possible intervention in the abduction’s investigation.
Mečiar dismissed the idea that he had interfered in the investigation and said that the recording had been deliberately edited and cut.
The ex-PM also said that as a prime minister, he did not have much time to meet with Lexa, usually doing so only once every couple of weeks. He added that on the day of the abduction, he had only talked with Lexa on the phone for about 30 seconds.
Mečiar also accused Michal Kováč Jr. of intervening in the case by supporting the main witness, the former SIS employee Oskar Fegyveres, through Róbert Remiáš, who was later killed in a car explosion. Mečiar said that Fegyveres is not a witness but a paid straw man involved in the case.
12. Jun 2017 at 15:27 | Compiled by Spectator staff