Real estate scandal a dangerous media hoax – Slovak def min
The Slovakian Defense Minister Marin Glvac announced that the alleged involvement of the military intelligence service (VSS) in illegal real estate dealings is an elaborate hoax concocted by journalists, according to local media reports.
“After an internal check, I must say the scandal with alleged siphoning off of property belonging to the military secret service is a dangerous media hoax, a fictitious construction that threatened the interests of the state, the operation of the military intelligence and the lives of the secret service’s undercover members,” Glvac said on Monday May 27, according to the Slovakian internet news service The Daily.SK.
The announcement came after top intelligence employee Vladimir Suchodolinsky publicly accused the VSS of property machinations on military real estate assets. Suchodolinsky said that he wrote a report about his suspicions, which was subsequently destroyed.
The alleged “property machinations” were carried out between 2006-2010, when current Prime Minister Robert Fico held office for the first of his two terms. The transactions may have cost the VSS millions in euros, however, this has not been confirmed.
Glvac firmly stated that the Suchodolinsky report was a fake designed to discredit the VSS.
“It is demonstrable that there was no siphoning off of property, and that this report was created with the aim of discrediting the current leadership of the military intelligence,” Glvac said, according to The Daily.SK.
This is not the first time that the military intelligence service has found itself in the spotlight for dubious reasons. In 2011 it was discovered that the military counter-intelligence service (VOS) was involved in illegally bugging journalists. The government subsequently merged the VOS with military intelligence to make the organizations more transparent.
Former-VOS head, Lubomir Skuhra, was nominated to lead the new combined agency in January 2013. Skuhra reportedly knew about the aforementioned real estate deals. As a result of these accusations, he has found himself in the middle of a political storm, with the Slovak opposition reportedly requesting that the defense minister sack Skuhra.
Glvac has said that he has no intention of doing so, and has submitted a complaint to the criminal court against Suchodolisnky.
Photo courtesy of PAP/CTK/ By Simanek Vit