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IN SHORT

Special Court boss Králik to run again

THE INCUMBENT president of the Special Court, Igor Králik, will take part in a new job tender for the top job scheduled for January 17.

Králik won the previous contest, but was nonetheless passed over for the position, supposedly because Justice Minister Štefan Harabin wanted to guarantee the selection's transparency. Three of Králik's colleagues at the Special Court, Vladimír Peterja, Michal Truban and Zdenka Cabanová, will also vie for the position.

When asked to explain his actions, Harabin pointed to the fact that the candidates who had come in second and third in the last contest withdrew their candidacies after the selection procedure, even though he had the power to select any of them. He believes that the other two candidates, Michal Truban and Oldřich Kozlík of the Special Court, withdrew to make way for the current Special Court chief justice.

Minister Harabin has been on a crusade against the Special Court since he took office in June 2006. The nominee of the junior governing coalition member the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) claims that the court is inefficient and harms the independence of the judicial system.

However, on January 10 the government of Robert Fico decided not to support the Justice Ministry's draft bill to shut down the institution and decided that it will continue, although with a new status.

The previous government of Mikulas Dzurinda established the Special Court to combat high-profile corruption and organized crime cases.

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