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ECHR rules in favour of owner of wiretapped flat featuring in Gorilla case

July 20th, 2021

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Tuesday ruled in favour of Slovak ex-police officer Zoltan Varga, who sued the state over the wiretapping of his Bratislava apartment by the Slovak Information Service (SIS) as part of Operation Gorilla, ordering that he should be paid non-pecuniary damages worth 9,750 euros and proceedings-related expenditures worth 5,561.75 euros. The ECHR decided that Varga's right to have his private life respected was violated by practically unfettered power exercised by an intelligence service implementing a surveillance operation without adequate legal safeguards. The operation, aimed at monitoring Varga and meetings between senior politicians and business figures taking place in his flat, was authorised by three warrants issued by a regional court and at the request of SIS. The warrants, however, were subsequently annulled by the Constitutional Court.


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