Opposition Responds to Gaspar's Nomination to SIS Head Post

Opposition Responds to Gaspar's Nomination to SIS Head Post
Justice Ministry State Secretary Pavol Gaspar (stock photo by TASR)

Majersky: Gaspar as SIS Head Yet Another Doubtful Nomination by This Government        

Bratislava, February 14 (TASR) - The nomination of current Justice Ministry State Secretary Pavol Gaspar for head of the Slovak Intelligence Service (SIS) is just another doubtful nomination by the current government, Christian Democrats (KDH) leader Milan Majersky said in reaction to the government's proposal on Wednesday.
        "We can't tell from his curriculum vitae if he has any experience with intelligence services at all. We doubt that he will be accepted by the international intelligence community, among which SIS already has a very tarnished reputation," noted the KDH leader.
        The government okayed Gaspar's nomination for the SIS head post on Wednesday. The SIS head is appointed by the president based on the government's proposal.      

Simecka: Gaspar's Nomination Signal That SIS Is Becoming Instrument of Revenge        

Bratislava, February 14 (TASR) - Pavol Gaspar's nomination as director of the Slovak Intelligence Service (SIS) is a signal that the service is coming to an end as an institution that is supposed to protect Slovakia's security interests and to work for the benefit of the people, and is becoming an instrument of revenge of Prime Minister Robert Fico (Smer-SD) instead, said Progressive Slovakia (PS) chairman Michal Simecka on Wednesday.
        Simecka added that this is a nomination akin to Ivan Lexa's from the times of Vladimir Meciar's government in the 1990s.
        "The government has appointed a person there who has ties to the Nitra oligarchs and the entire clan around Smer. He is clearly motivated by revenge, he said it himself at that famous [hunting] cabin that he's 110-percent set on revenge. At the same time, he's a person who has no professional competence to head an intelligence service, no experience with intelligence activities," said Simecka, pointing out that Gaspar was accused of a crime.
        SIS under the possible leadership of Gaspar will lose credibility in the eyes of the people and foreign partners and will be isolated. This, according to the PS head, will harm Slovakia's security interests. Simecka thinks that this shows what Fico is all about. "He isn't concerned with people, with the country, he's only concerned with personal revenge, and with this nomination he has only confirmed it again," he stressed.

'Slovakia' Party Urges Caputova Not to Appoint Gaspar Head of SIS        

Bratislava, February 14 (TASR) - 'Slovakia' party calls on President Zuzana Caputova not to appoint Pavol Gaspar the head of Slovak Intelligence Service (SIS), with MP Gabor Grendel (Slovakia-Christian Union-For the People caucus) being convinced that the President has a right to turn down such a nomination over concerns of damage to the reputation of Slovakia's intelligence services.
        Grendel pointed out to the situation in the 1990s when then-president Michal Kovac (1993-98) had refused to appoint Ivan Lexa at the helm of SIS. "Lexa wasn't criminally prosecuted either, not even charged with any crime, only there were certain moral limits that the president decided that nomination would have crossed," said Grendel.
        Party chair Igor Matovic cast aspersions over Gaspar's qualification for such post and also pointed out to statements made in a leaked law enforcement's surveillance video from a hunter's cabin a few years ago.
        Earlier in the day, the Government approved the nomination of Gaspar for the SIS head. Gaspar still needs to be appointed by the president to the post.

Kolikova: Pavol Gaspar Unfit to Run Secret Service        

Bratislava, February 14 (TASR) - It's unacceptable to install Pavol Gaspar to the post of Slovak Intelligence Service (SIS) head, as Gaspar fails to meet professional requirements and is a vindictive person who would only serve as Prime Minister's Robert Fico's right-hand man in pursuit of revenge, House Committee for Supervision of SIS chair Maria Kolikova (SaS) declared on Wednesday.
        With his nomination approved by the Government earlier in the day, Gaspar still needs to be appointed to the post by President Zuzana Caputova. According to Kolikova, there are "unequivocal" reasons to turn down the nomination.
        "This appointment shows clearly that the Government and Prime Minister Fico absolutely don't bother even to pretend that they're not out for vengeance. After all, choosing the son of a criminally-prosecuted MP for the post of SIS head, who promised to get revenge at the hunter cabin [in a leaked law enforcement surveillance video-ed.note] is disqualifying in and of itself," Kolikova told journalists. "Such an individual cannot head SIS, an institution that controls all national security tools. A vindictive person cannot be put at its helm."

Democrats: Gaspar at Post of SIS Head Would Threaten Slovakia's Security        

Bratislava, February 14 (TASR) - Pavol Gaspar as director of the Slovak Intelligence Service (SIS) would be a direct threat to the security of Slovakia and the secret service would be isolated, representatives of the extra-parliamentary Democrats party stated on Wednesday.
        Party chairman Jaroslav Nad said that individual intelligence services need to exchange confidential information, based on mutual trust. He fears that Slovakia wouldn't receive important information due to untrustworthy leadership. "Already today, I've received signals from our partners that this nomination would only deepen Slovakia's isolation, harming the interests of the citizens of our country," he added.
        Former prime minister and party vice-chairman Eduard Heger considers Gaspar's nomination to be sufficiently unjustified. According to him, he doesn't have the personal or professional qualifications to hold this post. The party also pointed out that the SIS must fulfil its legal obligations, while also obtaining information on organised criminal activity. He is also concerned about the possible misuse of SIS to discredit political opponents.
        The government approved Justice Minister State Secretary Pavol Gaspar's nomination for the SIS head post on Wednesday. The SIS head is appointed by the president based on the government's proposal.