Charges Brought in Military Intelligence Wiretapping Affair
Deputy attorney general Dobroslav Trnka announced this week that charges were being brought against various individuals in the wiretapping leaks affair at the Military Intelligence Unit (VOS) of the Ministry of Defence, which among other things revealed close ties between certain journalists and politicians.
Trnka could not yet divulge the details of who was being charged or for what specifically, saying only that the charges involved infringement of personal rights and abuse of public office. Trnka pointed out how the accused had apparently been ordered to act the way they did, denoting liability on a higher level, while adding that more people could be charged in the case.
The affair raised questions as to how easy it is for certain authorities like VOS to gain court warrants allowing wiretapping for intelligence purposes, and that in this case the agents had given false information to the courts. Former head of the VOS unit, Pavol Brychta, told SME daily that he still had no information about any charges or if he was also among the accused. He has been freed of his oath of secrecy by acting PM Iveta Radicova to give evidence in the case.
Among other things, VOS had been tapping into conversations of three journalists from Pravda daily, head of TV news channel TA3, and PM Iveta Radicova, for instance. Defence minister at the time, Lubomir Galko from the SaS party, was recalled over the affair.
The speed at which the Attorney General’s Office dealt with the case is impressive, and depending on the list of accused, could prove timely and beneficial for certain parties in the pre-election battle.