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Slovakia: Former Secret-Police Chief Arrested

Bratislava, 5 December 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Ivan Lexa, the former chief of the Slovak secret police, has been arrested on charges of ordering the killing of a key figure in a much-publicized 1995 kidnapping case. Interior Minister Vladimir Palko said he had "written and oral evidence" that Lexa had ordered the murder of Robert Remias, a former colleague of Oskar Fegyveres, a secret-service agent who had testified that the Slovak secret service was involved in the 1995 kidnapping of Michal Kovac Jr., the son of the former president.

After testifying, Fegyveres fled abroad and has remained in hiding since. He used Remias to transfer information about the kidnapping to the Slovak media.

Lexa served as secret-service chief from 1995 to 1998. He has faced other charges before but has never been tried in court.