Yesterday the government coalition parties agreed to move forward with the proposal to abolish the ‘Meciar Amnesties’ from 1997, which put a protective blanket over all those suspected of being involved in the abduction of ex-President Michal Kovac’s son (Michal Kovac Jr.) in 1995, while also terminating and prohibiting any criminal proceedings in the case.
Vladimir Meciar was PM at the time and appointed himself as acting president just one day after president Kovac’s term of office ended. This gave Meciar the power to grant amnesties to anyone he wanted, and by doing so he essentially blocked the investigation into the abduction of Michal Kovac Jr., in which there were strong accusations that it had all been orchestrated by Meciar together with SIS secret service head at the time Ivan Lexa.
Now if the government manages to push its proposed constitutional amendment through parliament, it will revoke the effects of all rulings in the case and spell the start of a massive witch hunt against those believed to have been involved in the abduction.
The motion requires 90 voted in parliament, though, and so must get the backing of enough opposition MPs, but the Smer-SD has been holding back support to revoke the amnesties, claiming that it would be an unacceptable breach of constitutional rights, basing its argument on the very essence of what an amnesty represents. Smer-SD says it is willing to condemn the amnesties formally, though, but not to revoke them as they were issued by the president and so should not, and cannot, be cancelled.
Prime Minister Iveta Radicova says the amnesties essentially went against the very principles of the rule of law and protection of the Constitution.
Meciar’s HSDZ party, which for the first time did not make it into parliament in the elections last year, has issued a statement saying that the motion to cancel the amnesties is merely a deliberate attempt by the coalition to draw attention away from its own failures and that it is an attack on the democratic legal system in Slovakia.