THE GENERAL Prosecutor’s Office is taking steps to avoid paying the €150,000 awarded to Supreme Court President Štefan Harabin based on a verdict recently confirmed by the Bratislava Regional Court in the case of Harabin’s alleged phone call with drug lord Baki Sadiki.

An appeal and an extraordinary appeal have been filed by the General Prosecutor’s Office, which will be decided upon by the Supreme Court, the SITA newswire reported on December 4.

Harabin reacted by saying that the extraordinary appeal is unacceptable in this case because the General Prosecutor’s Office is one of the participants of the case, so it could be seen as discrimination against other participants in the case.

The Bratislava Regional Court earlier this year upheld a lower court verdict, which in September 2012 ruled that the General Prosecutor’s Office erred by confirming that a recording of an alleged 1994 phone conversation between Harabin and Sadiki formed part of a request by the then head of its criminal department to have Harabin excluded from decision-making in cases involving Sadiki. The court awarded Harabin €150,000 in damages for what it called an incorrect official proceeding.

Yet, shortly after breaking the story on Harabin’s award, the Sme daily reported on November 8 that the Bratislava Regional Court first cancelled the decision to pay €150,000 to Harabin, but the decision was upheld after changes were made to the composition of the judicial senate.

Back in 2008, the opposition cited the transcript in a motion seeking to get Harabin sacked as justice minister during Prime Minister Robert Fico’s first government. The initiative, which failed, was led by Daniel Lipšic, who called Harabin’s ties with Sadiki “friendly”.

Harabin, who went straight from the post of justice minister to the Supreme Court, has called on Lipšic to pay the €150,000 bill from his own pocket, according to the SITA newswire.

Both Harabin and Sadiki denied having contact as well as the existence of the phone call. According to Sme, the court did not scrutinise the authenticity of the transcript.