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Slovakia: Prosecutor Tries To Overrule President On Pardons

Bratislava, August 9 (RFE/RL) -- A further challenge to the authority of embattled Slovak President Michal Kovac is brewing in Bratislava.

Michal Valo, Slovakia's prosecutor general, yesterday suspended President Michal Kovac's decision to halt prosecution of two of the leading figures implicated in the Technopol fraud case until the Constitutional Court rules on a previous complaint by the prosecutor regarding presidential pardons.

President Kovac responded in unusually strong language, accusing the prosecutor general of misuse of office by illegaly empowering himself with the right to rule on presidential decisions.

"This is a flagrant violation of the constitution... which will have consequences," he said.

Kovac had pardoned the two men to enable them to travel to Germany for questioning by investigators in a case linked to the apparant kidnapping by Slovakia's secret police, SIS, of the president's son, Michal Kovac junior.

The president's son has also been implicated in the fraud case, but Slovak authorities have prevented him from going to Germany to give evidence.

Editorials in today's editions of the opposition daily "Sme" and the leftist daily "Pravda" insist Kovac acted constitutionally in granting the pardons.