FORMER general prosecutor Dobroslav Trnka, whose 2010 re-election bid prompted then prime minister Iveta Radičová to say she would resign if he succeeded, may no longer be allowed to serve as a rank-and-file prosecutor. A disciplinary commission imposed on Trnka the toughest ever punishment for his involvement in a controversial real estate transfer, banning him on November 29, the Sme daily reported. The so-called Glance House case pertains to the controversial transfer of a luxury residential development in Bernolákovo, a municipality near Bratislava, based on a letter sent by Trnka sidestepping an embargo by the Special Prosecutor’s Office on any dealings involving the building.

Trnka has the option to appeal the ban, but on December 4 he was still waiting for the written decision of the disciplinary commission, saying that only after receiving the document would he be able to appeal the decision with the Bratislava Regional Court.

“I will wait for the written decision and then I will appeal in line with the law,” Trnka told the TASR newswire.

If the court confirms the penalty for Trnka, he would no longer work as an attorney either, Sme reported on December 2. Trnka maintains that he has not been involved in any wrongdoing.

“I am still convinced that I have not committed any [crime] and the court will say this and I will be able to stay at the prosecution,” Trnka told the Hospodárske Noviny daily, adding that otherwise, “I will have to leave”.

General Prosecutor Jaromír Čižnár is also awaiting the written decision of the commission and then will decide whether to remove Trnka from office temporarily, until the appeal is complete, TASR wrote.

The Glance House case

The case involves a dispute around the construction and sale of Glance House which, thanks to a letter sent by Trnka to one of the conflicting sides, was reportedly transferred to Jana Šlachtová, a representative of CDI, a London-based company which has links to Marián Kočner, a controversial businessman also known to be on friendly terms with Trnka, according to Sme.

The Senec cadastral office allowed the transfer based on Trnka’s letter even though the Special Prosecutor’s Office had banned any property transfers connected with the building. Subsequently, the property was transferred to another firm, Gapeja.

Trnka has not resigned over the affair despite his former boss, Ladislav Tichý, stating that Trnka had acted unlawfully by issuing a legal opinion that materially affected the disputed ownership of Glance House. Tichý confirmed that Trnka had broken the rules but also argued that not every breach of the law is a crime, according to Sme, which broke the story about the controversial transfer.

When the police first investigated the Glance House case, it failed to charge Trnka after coming to the conclusion that he did not commit a crime when he unlawfully enabled the transfer of the apartment house.

The Trnava Regional Prosecutor’s Office oversaw the investigation, led by Ľubomír Klčo, who had been appointed by Trnka. The case was earlier rejected by then head of the Bratislava Regional Prosecutor’s Office, Jaroslav Čižnár, who was later elected and appointed as general prosecutor. He refused to reconsider the case, arguing that he felt he would be biased, according to Sme.

Neither Čižnár nor Prime Minister Robert Fico have commented on Trnka’s punishment. Trnka began working as a prosecutor directly after he graduated from university, 25 years ago, Sme wrote.