Bloomberg News

Slovak Defense Minister Is Dismissed Over Phone-Tapping Scandal

November 23, 2011

Nov. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Slovak President Ivan Gasparovic dismissed Defense Minister Lubomir Galko after reports that the military secret service tapped the phones of local journalists.

The president fired Galko, a nominee of the Freedom and Solidarity Party, upon a request from Prime Minister Iveta Radicova today. Galko’s replacement in a care-taking government, which will lead the country to early elections in March, hasn’t been chosen yet.

Newspapers Novy Cas and Pravda said on Nov. 21 that the Military Intelligence Service, controlled by the Defense Ministry, this year wiretapped three journalists and a director of a local TV news channel. The newspapers published transcripts of the intercepted conversations, which included details about the private lives of the individuals.

Galko, who repeatedly said his key goal was to eliminate corruption in the military, has said the wiretaps were authorized by a judge and were intended to uncover criminal wrongdoing.

--Editors: Douglas Lytle, Andrew Langley

To contact the reporter on this story: Radoslav Tomek in Bratislava at rtomek@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net


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