NEWS BRIEFS

Harabin goes on spending spree

ŠTEFAN Harabin, head of both the Supreme Court and the independent Judicial Council, spent half the latter's Sk5 million ($120,000) budget on a BMW car, 18 laptop computers and mobile phones that Council members have said they neither need nor were informed of.

Harabin, who comes up for re-election as chief justice in January, is regarded by the Justice Ministry as a relic of the communist-era judiciary. He has angered current Justice Minister Daniel Lipšic by refusing to implement an anonymous, computer-based case-assignment system at the Supreme Court to eliminate the possibility of corruption.

"I think this [purchase] creates a suitable picture of Harabin's approach," said Lipšic who, like the Council members, had not been informed of Harabin's budget decisions.

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