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Justice Ministry reveals changes to Criminal Code

The Justice Ministry on October 22 revealed proposed changes to the Criminal Code that are aimed at speeding up trials and were submitted for comments to other ministries last week. "The changes in question concern a trial or public hearing ... The prime witness, among other changes, will be expected to co-operate right up until the perpetrators are sentenced," said Štefan Minárik, head of the ministry's criminal law section.

He said the ministry was proposing that misdemeanors and less serious offenses should be tried by a single judge, with cases involving serious crimes presided over by a group of judges (or senate). In addition, plaintiffs should no longer have to take their cases, too, to a civil court in order to sue for damages.

Minárik further stated that during the drafting of the proposals the ministry took into account the opinion of professional communities, and has invited comments from Christian Democrat (KDH) MP and former justice minister Daniel Lipšic, who criticized the measures on October 19 as being designed to make things easier for those suspected of corruption or organized crime. TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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