Bednar: Ex-president Kovac’s Amnesties Did Influence Slovak State

Late former president Michal Kovac (stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, February 3 (TASR) – The amnesties that late former president Michal Kovac (in office 1993-98) granted to his son in relation to the so-called Technopol scandal had an influence on the character of the Slovak state, and so they should be abrogated along with former prime minister Vladimir Meciar’s (1993-98) amnesties, reads an open letter written by Frantisek Bednar of the World Association of Former Czechoslovak Political Prisoners to Opposition OLaNO-NOVA MP Jan Budaj, TASR learnt on Friday.

A proposal concerning the scrapping of Meciar’s amnesties was set to be discussed at the ongoing parliamentary session, but Budaj, who submitted the proposal, requested on Thursday (February 2) that the motion should be postponed to the next parliamentary session slated for March. By doing this, Budaj wants to give time to coalition parties Smer-SD and the Slovak National Party (SNS) to form opinions on the abrogation of the amnesties.

Bednar in his letter states that he doesn’t agree with Budaj, who posted on a social network that there’s a huge difference between Meciar’s amnesties from 1998 and those issued by Kovac in 1997.

“I agree with you in many of the points you stated, but in principle I can’t agree with your statement that the amnesty granted to the son of the ex-president didn’t have any consequences for the character of the state. You claim that the difference between the two amnesties is abysmal from matter-of-fact, ethical and political points of view. Unlike you, I’m convinced that ex-president Kovac’s amnesties had an impact on the nature of the state,” wrote Bednar.

Bednar also noted that his association as early as in 2011 called on MPs to add a proposal for abrogating Kovac’s amnesties to one for scrapping Meciar’s amnesties.

Meanwhile, Budaj stated on Monday (January 30) that he’s ready to amend his proposal to that effect, as several members of the coalition parties have said that they will only support the abrogation of both sets of amnesties.

Meciar’s amnesties relate both to the 1995 kidnapping of then president Michal Kovac’s son Michal Kovac Jr. and the murder of Robert Remias, who served as a contact for a key witness of the abduction. [The Technopol scandal concerned fraud worth more that 2 million US dollars in which Kovac Jr. was allegedly involved – ed. note].