Judicial Council in favour of scrapping Special Court

THE JUDICIAL Council, the top judicial self-rule body in the country, has come out in favour of Justice Minister Štefan Harabin’s proposal to cancel the Special Court for organized crime cases.

A vote on the matter was not originally on the program, nor was it preceded by any debate, the Pravda daily wrote. Minister Harabin’s proposal to cancel the Special Court was taken under advisement by the cabinet last week, with PM Robert Fico calling for an expert debate before any decision was taken.

Some members of the council refused to take part in the vote, which approved the cancellation of the court with the support of 10 of 18 council members, including three current employees of Harabin’s Justice Ministry.

“The fact that not one of the current members of the Judicial Council was against the cancellation of the Special Court speaks volumes,” said Harabin, who was appointed to his post by the ruling coalition Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) party.

“The truth is becoming apparent that the court was only established as a pre-election media trick and not as a professional decision.”

However, former Justice Minister Daniel Lipšic accused Harabin of “misleading the public”, and said that the fact six members of the council had refused to take part in the vote proved that there was significant professional opposition to Harabin’s plan.

The justice minister says that the court is an expensive and irregular element in the court system, and that it is underworked. His political opponents see the attempt to cancel the court as a favour to organized crime.

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