Court: ex-boss of military intelligence is innocent

The intelligence officer who reported embezzlement and was then charged with collecting classified information and threatening national security was cleared.

Roman Mikulec leaves the Bratislava court June 25.Roman Mikulec leaves the Bratislava court June 25. (Source: Sme - Jozef Jakubčo)

In June 2013, police stopped the car of former head of Slovak military intelligence service, Roman Mikulec, in Bratislava. His car was searched; at first, police found nothing, but during the second attempt – with media attendance – a police officer found a tiny flash memory card, the Sme daily wrote on June 25. Mikulec, who elaborated, together with now deceased officer of intelligence service Vladimír Suchodolinský, a report on embezzlement in the secret service, was detained. Later, he lost his job, according to the daily.

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Read also: Mikulec and Svrčeková charged Read more 

Mikulec claimed the card was planted in his car by state officials in an attempt to intimidate him.

On June 25, District Court Bratislava III judge Roman Fitt ruled Mikulec was innocent and slammed police for their sloppy, amateurish work. “I am convinced that it was not proven by any means that the deed happened in the way stated by the prosecution,” he said, as quoted by Sme.

Read also: Former military intelligence head to be tried Read more 

Mikulec called the decision ironic. “Of course, I am happy, but I am also very sad that such things happen in this country, and that it is continuing a five-year dispute with someone who disclosed the dirty acts of others,” Mikulec commented after the verdict was read.

Amateurish work of police

Judge deemed the police methods “more than amateurish”, as a police officer touched the card with his bare hands and other officers at the police station did the same, which made it impossible to determine through DNA traces whether Mikulec touched the card, or not, Sme wrote. It has not been proven either, according to the judge, whether Mikulec intentionally collected classified information unconnected to his work as a MIS head. The contents of the SD card, undisclosed to the public during the court proceeding, cannot threaten the interest of the Slovak Republic, according to the judge.

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The acquitted man comments

After the trial, Mikulec said he knows the person who planted the card in his car and knows he acted on someone else’s order, Sme quoted him. It was allegedly a man from the secret service but Mikulec refused to tell more. However, he did not deny he had become a victim to an intelligence game in which police and secret services participated wittingly. A day before the car search, then-police president Tibor Gašpar met with people from the intelligence service.

Read also: Minister dismisses embezzlement claims Read more 

In the protracted case, the police officer who participated in the car search and found the card was cleared from the pledge of secrecy incorrectly by the defence minister instead of interior minister so he was not interrogated until April 2018. He confirmed the prosecution’s version but added he did not remember why he repeated the search or why he was more careful in some places than in others.

Read also: Suchodolinský says key witnesses were not interrogated in VSS case Read more 

The ultimate verdict was given this Monday, June 25.

The investigation of the embezzlement of the military intelligence was closed and the case did not even make it before court.

Mikulec had worked in state functions for 22 years but after he gave the report on embezzlement, he was sacked. Although this ruined his life, as he told the daily, he does not regret his steps and eventually found a job in the security sphere.

“Many of those who report wrongdoing have ended up badly,” Mikulec said, as quoted by Sme, “but one the other hand, had I not done it, I could not look at myself in the mirror.”

Is this the end?

The prosecutor appealed the verdict and a higher-instant court will have to decide on the case. If Mikulec is rightfully and effectively acquitted, he will consider further legal steps.

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