THE DECEMBER 20 vote that returned Śtefan Harabin to the position of Supreme Court chief justice has been at the centre of a scandal, with the winner accused of paying high bonuses to two Supreme Court judges who nominated him to run for the post.
According to the privately run TV Markíza, Milan Lalík and Juraj Seman of the Supreme Court received bonuses of Sk200,000 (5,050 euro) and Sk190,000 (4,800 euro) respectively shortly before the December 20 vote.
Other judges at the top court, including Sergej Kohút, Harabin's only opponent in the race, received considerably smaller bonuses, ranging from Sk10,000 (250 euro) to Sk45,000 (1,100 euro). Harabin, however, categorically denied that he was rewarding his faithful.
"The media simply wanted to turn the vote into a scandal. I have carried out a differentiated system of bonuses ever since I started in my position at the Supreme Court.
"Bonuses are not given out for the [judges' court] rulings but for additional activities such as participation at expert meetings and seminars, preparation of expert legal analyses, lectures and speeches. I can produce a whole list of such activities for those judges to whom I gave the higher bonuses," Harabin said.
- Martina Pisárová
13. Jan 2003 at 0:00