Cabinet removes three Judicial Council members nominated under previous government

The cabinet, conducting an away-from-home session in Michalovce in eastern Slovakia on Wednesday, September 26, dismissed three members of the Slovak Judicial Council, which oversees the work of the judiciary. Ľudmila Babjaková, Jozef Vozár and Alexander Brostl were all appointed in January 2011 by the previous government, led by Iveta Radičová, the TASR newswire reported.

The cabinet, conducting an away-from-home session in Michalovce in eastern Slovakia on Wednesday, September 26, dismissed three members of the Slovak Judicial Council, which oversees the work of the judiciary. Ľudmila Babjaková, Jozef Vozár and Alexander Brostl were all appointed in January 2011 by the previous government, led by Iveta Radičová, the TASR newswire reported.

Justice Minister Tomáš Borec proposed Eva Fulcová, Jaroslav Chlebovič and Ľuboš Sádovský as their replacements and the candidates were immediately approved by the cabinet. The three new members are set to take up their posts today, September 27.

One of the three dismissed judges, Babjaková, was among the founders of an initiative called 'For an Open Judiciary', which has criticised the current state of the Slovak judicial system and Supreme Court chairman and former justice minister Štefan Harabin, who is also the head of the Judicial Council.

Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) MP and former justice minister Lucia Žitňanská rejected accusations levelled earlier on Wednesday by Prime Minister Robert Fico that the three dismissed members of the Judicial Council had been pursuing political agendas. There are public records of the Judicial Council's deliberations and anyone can listen to them in order to form their own opinion, Žitňanská said at a press conference on Wednesday, as quoted by TASR. "These records give some insight into who is who on the council… Also, I feel sorry that the apolitical Justice Minister [Borec] lent his name to such an explicit political game, played in line with the interests of Harabin, who still enjoys support from Fico – albeit for reasons I fail to understand," she said.

Radoslav Procházka, an MP for the opposition Christian Democratic Movement (KDH), said that he would not criticise the government's right to dismiss members of the Judicial Council, as Radičová's cabinet (of which his party was a member) had done the same thing. "However, when it did so, Mr. Harabin vehemently protested that the action was unconstitutional. Since at least some consistency in opinions is expected from the head of the judiciary, we expect him to criticise today's decision by the government as unconstitutional equally loudly and clearly," said Procházka.

The only way the government can help remedy the situation in the Slovak Judicial Council is via its three nominees in the body, Borec said after the replacement. "Like the previous government of Radičová, we've decided to use our right in the matter to replace nominees of the previous government in the Slovak Judicial Council. All three newly-appointed members are apolitical experts and I believe that they will contribute towards the restoration of the proper operation of the council," said the minister. He added that the council should begin to meet on a regular basis as soon as possible and carry out its tasks.

The Slovak Judicial Council consists of 17 members, of whom three are nominated by the government, three by parliament, three by the president, and eight by judges themselves.

Source: TASR

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

Top stories

The first wooden Tesco opened in Rajec.
Business

Eastern Slovak retailer interested in buying Tesco stores

THE INFORMATION on its sale, partial or total, has not been officially announced yet, but the British retail chain Tesco has already the first potential buyer: the Labaš company is unknown to western Slovakia but in the east of the country, it owns some 700 shops called Fresh, according to the Sme daily.

04. Mar 2015
Vladimír Jánoš in parliament.
Politics & society

Smer MP resigns over alleged threats to wife

VLADIMÍR Jánoš of the ruling Smer party has resigned his parliamentary seat over a scandal involving transcriptions of audio recordings published on the internet March 3 in which he verbally abuses and threatens his wife.

04. Mar 2015
Politics & society

Court ignores video in Roma abuse case

THE KOŠICE District Court declined to admit a video in which police officers at Košice-South station bullied and humiliated Roma boys in March 2009 as evidence and acquitted the police February 27. 

04. Mar 2015
International

Slovaks view Russia as biggest potential threat

RUSSIA is the country that could pose the biggest threat to Slovakia and real Slovaks must speak Slovak according to a recent Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAV) survey released March 3, the TASR newswire reported.

04. Mar 2015