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“Galko is finished,” headlines Pravda in the wake of the dismissal of the Minister of Defense by outgoing Prime Minister Iveta Radičová. Ľubomír Galko has paid the price for suspicions relating to the tapping of phones belonging to three journalists from this Bratislava daily, and the director of the TA3 television channel.

“Whether legal or illegal, the tapping of journalists’ phones is incompatible with the basic principles of a democratic state of law,” declared Radičová. The main Slovak newspapers have published a joint statement condemning the “intervention against press freedom” and demanding “an appropriate inquiry into the affair.”

According to the most recent revelations on the Nový čas news website, military intelligence services were aiming even higher, because the operation code named “The Lady” also concerned Iveta Radičová herself. The goal was to collect information on Radičová’s position on an affair concerning a high official in the Ministry for the Economy who resigned because of a conflict of interest, points out Nový čas.