Kiska: Revoking Amnesties Is Only First Step

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Slovak President Andrej Kiska (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, June 1 (TASR) – The abrogation of Vladimir Meciar’s amnesties was only the first step and now the second step, which is equally important, has to be taken, meaning that the perpetrators of this shameful act must be convicted, stated President Andrej Kiska at a briefing on Thursday.

Kiska was responding to the Constitutional Court’s ruling on Wednesday that Meciar’s amnesties can be scrapped in line with a decision made by Parliament in April.

The president welcomes the fact that, partly thanks to the joint initiative of the public and experts, Meciar’s amnesties are an issue of the past as of Wednesday. “People have got together and, jointly as civil society, they have been able to convince politicians, who have been claiming for years that Meciar’s amnesties cannot be scrapped, that they actually can be scrapped,” said Kiska.

At the same time the president stressed that Slovaks now have great expectations concerning the crimes related to the amnesties. “We mustn’t allow it to happen that in one, two or five years we’ll be asked how it is possible that once again no one has been convicted. We mustn’t allow that,” said Kiska.

Meanwhile, the president joined the Bike-To-Work campaign in Slovakia and rode a bike to his office on Thursday. “When we speak about cycling, we speak not only about protecting the environment, but also about a healthy lifestyle. We have sedentary jobs and lots of stress. Getting fresh air in the morning when the weather is beautiful is an amazing experience,” said Kiska after having arrived at work on his bike, adding that Slovakia still has a lot to do in order to be able to replace cars with bikes.

Meciar’s amnesties relate to the 1995 kidnapping of then president Michal Kovac’s son Michal Kovac Jr. and the murder in 1996 of Robert Remias, who served as a contact for a key witness of the abduction. The amnesties issued by Meciar as acting president in 1998 also concern a thwarted referendum of 1997.