OUTGOING Supreme Court President Štefan Harabin has turned to the European Court for Human Rights (ECHR) due to fact that his disciplinary proceeding has not been renewed, the TASR newswire reported on June 16.

Harabin did not specify what he demanded in his appeal to the court, saying “all that the law allows to”, as quoted by TASR.

The original disciplinary proceeding against Harabin was launched after he repeatedly denied Finance Ministry auditors access to the Supreme Court from August 2010 onwards. Harabin at the time repeatedly asserted, “only the Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ) wields the right to supervise the Supreme Court”.

He restated this position at his disciplinary hearing at the Constitutional Court, suggesting that a ministerial audit of the Supreme Court “is not possible unless one intends to talk about the independence of the courts”, SITA reported.

In November 2010, then justice minister Lucia Žitňanská lodged a disciplinary proceeding against Harabin.

The Constitutional Court penalised Harabin, imposing on him the highest possible fine: a one-year, 70-percent salary cut.

Harabin has now requested that the Constitutional Court renew the proceeding, based on an ECHR verdict that ruled that Harabin’s right to a fair trial was violated by the disciplinary proceeding. According to the ECHR ruling, the Slovak Constitutional Court, when judging the proceedings initiated by Žitňanská, did not go to sufficient lengths to consider challenges to the senate’s impartiality, noting that it included judges who had been excluded from other proceedings against Harabin.

Harabin now complains that the Constitutional Court has yet to renew the proceeding as he requested.

Source: TASR, TSS archive

Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports.
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information
presented in its Flash News postings.