NEWS IN SHORT

Court rules Fico need not apologise

PRIME Minister Robert Fico does not have to apologise to his predecessor Iveta Radičová as yet – since the court failed to deliver him a summons properly.

PRIME Minister Robert Fico does not have to apologise to his predecessor Iveta Radičová as yet – since the court failed to deliver him a summons properly.

The Bratislava Regional Court cancelled the decision of the Pezinok District Court which ordered Fico to apologise to Radičová for his accusations that the former prime minister was involved in alleged corruption linked with the construction of a biathlon stadium in Osrblie. The investigation proved that she did not know about it and the district court in Pezinok issued a ruling on May 9, 2013, in which it ordered the current prime minister to publish an apology in the TASR and SITA newswires at his own expense, according to the Sme daily.

However, Fico appealed the verdict at the Bratislava Regional Court, which cancelled it, arguing that the court’s request to summon Fico was accepted by an unauthorised person. The Pezinok court now has to decide again and make sure that Fico receives the notice.

Fico’s case sets a bad example, according to Radičová’s lawyer Tomáš Kamenec.

“It is a guide for those who want to avoid the lawsuit process,” Kamenec said, as quoted by Sme, “and it is bad that the prime minister gives such an example to citizens.”

Before the first hearing with Radičová and Fico took place at the Pezinok court in late 2011, the court tried to approach Fico with a summons several times. Fico was using an address on Hana Meličková Street and the court tried to find him there. Fico’s nephew, who occupies the house, said that Fico no longer lives there.

Then the judge approached Fico’s bodyguards, who responded that it is not their job to deliver messages. When trying to find Fico in the civil registry, the Interior Ministry told the court that Fico did not exist. It is normal for people needing special security protection to not appear in the registry.

Finally, after many unsuccessful attempts, the court’s mail was taken by employees of the Government Office. It later came to light that they were not authorised to do so.

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