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Media session 'a political matter': Harabin

AFTER a special cabinet meeting about the media on September 4, Justice Minister Štefan Harabin said, "I am satisfied with the work of the media. They have notified me of many shortcomings."
Harabin spoke to The Slovak Spectator about his thoughts on the media, but he refused to go into details about the cabinet meeting.

AFTER a special cabinet meeting about the media on September 4, Justice Minister Štefan Harabin said, "I am satisfied with the work of the media. They have notified me of many shortcomings."

Harabin spoke to The Slovak Spectator about his thoughts on the media, but he refused to go into details about the cabinet meeting.


The Slovak Spectator (TSS): What have your experiences with the media been like?

Štefan Harabin (ŠH): I assess the media like any other field. A whole range of decent, unbiased people work there, who do their job responsibly and who report true information. However, there is one segment of the media that I do not repsect. After all, there are also people in media who wrote lies about me. I defended myself legally and I am involved in some trials concerning the protection of privacy.


TSS: Do you think it is right to make the media your enemy?

ŠH: Look, I expressed my opinion that one segment of these people is decent, and one part does not do their job according to journalistic ethics. That is why our motion only concerns some media.


TSS: Do you consider it normal for the government to have a special meeting about the media? Wouldn't it be easier to file a motion to the relevant body if one member of the government feels that something illegal has occurred?

ŠH: As for the question of whether a crime has been committed or not, no steps have to be made, as the ex offo (upon official duty) principle is effective. Police are bound to start acting when they learn that a crime was committed, not only when they receive a written notice.


TSS: What was the meeting about?

ŠH: Well, you know what it was about.


TSS: Not too much.

ŠH: The media are full of reports on it.


TSS: We would like to know your opinion.

ŠH: I told you. A resolution was adopted in connection with the fact that one part of the media reports in a biased way.


TSS: Would you summon a government meeting if you had such a problem?

ŠH: These are merely hypothetical questions. I am not a prime minister.


TSS: You are a justice minister.

ŠH: I have no such leadership ambitions. I will finish this ministerial work and return to my judge's robe. I will not comment on Tuesday's meeting. It is more or less a political issue. From the expert point of view of a judge, I do not dare to evaluate it, even though I am a member of government.

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