Kiska: Surveillance of journalists is the state's failure

President Andrej Kiska has called on PM Peter Pellegrini to act resolutely.

President Andrej KiskaPresident Andrej Kiska (Source: SME)

The alleged surveillance of journalists and constitutional representatives is a failure of state power, said President Andrej Kiska.

He expects the respective authorities to make resolute steps in these cases, the SITA newswire reported.

The president responded to the earlier report of the Denník N daily, which suggests that not only journalists but also their family members and friends had been closely monitored by the commando hired by former journalist and ex-agent of the Slovak Information Service (SIS) intelligence agency, Peter Tóth.

The same secret agent monitored murdered journalist Ján Kuciak as well.

"The surveillance of journalists and protected government members based on the organised crime's order is the failure of state power," Kiska said, as quoted by SITA.

It is even worse when every day new information appears about the links between mafia and the law enforcement bodies that assist and protect gangsters, the president added.

Read also:More murders, monitoring of journalists and politicians. What else are the police looking into? Read more 

"I expect the prime minister to make resolute steps and publish specific measures, so that all people in this country can feel safer," Kiska said, as quoted by SITA.

PM: Surveillance of anyone is unacceptable

The surveillance of anyone is absolutely unacceptable and can occur only in the case of a serious suspicion that the law was breached, said PM Peter Pellegrini (Smer), when responding to Kiska's call.

“All state bodies concerned must do everything they can to prevent something similar from happening again in future,” said the prime minister, as quoted by Denník N.

If it is confirmed that Marian Kočner, who is suspected of ordering Kuciak's murder, also ordered the surveillance of journalists, law enforcement bodies will investigate it, Pellegrini promised, as reported by Denník N.

Čaputová: I support journalists

Read also:P. Tóth: I did not monitor journalists. I paparazzied them Read more 

President-elect Zuzana Čaputová described the stories about the surveillance of journalists and their relatives, which Kočner ordered, as horrifying.

“Journalists are a group of people that must be protected and supported by the public, especially when they look into the scandals in which powerful people are involved,” she said, as quoted by Denník N.

Čaputová, who has expressed her support for journalists in the previous months, added that she hopes the police will investigate the case thoroughly.

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