The senior Mr Kovac was a political opponent of Mr Meciar's.
But before charges could be brought, Mr Meciar passed an amnesty law that buried the case.
Mr Meciar has spent the past few years in quiet retirement at his mansion, christened “Elektra”.
But on March 2nd a docudrama about the case, “Unos” ( “Kidnapping” ) , opened in Slovakia, putting the old case back in the headlines.
Mr Meciar felt obliged to appear on television to defend himself.
Polls showed that 63% of Slovaks favoured revoking the amnesty law, and on March 13th Robert Fico, the current prime minister, announced that he would do so.
Mr Fico faces declining approval, especially among young voters.
He may be defending himself against any appearance of complicity; his first government, in 2006, included Mr Meciar's party.
But he is also being pushed by popular anger at corruption, as the popularity of “Unos” shows.
“Politicians should know that crime and wrongdoing can be punished, even after such a long time,” says Milan Stranava, the film's producer.
Any punishment will come too late for the elder Mr Kovac.
He died in October 2016.