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IN SHORTS

Complaints grow against Justice Harabin

SERGEJ Kohut, a Supreme Court justice defeated in elections for the chief justice post by incumbent Štefan Harabin last December, filed a complaint with the Constitutional Court that he and Harabin, who voted for himself in the ballot, had had unequal access to the function.

Harabin, who also presides over the Judicial Council, the senior judicial-sector body that held the vote, cast a ballot for himself on December 20, giving him exactly the 10 votes he needed to win another five-year term at the head of the Supreme Court.

He is due to be reappointed to the job by President Rudolf Schuster in February.

Kohut's complaint joined abuse of power charges against Harabin by another Supreme Court justice, Peter Paluda, who alleged that Harabin demanded the return of travel expenses he had earlier promised the court would pay.

Harabin, an opponent of the justice ministry's judicial-sector reform plan, is regarded as a major barrier to ridding Slovakia's courts of its reputation for corruption.

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Jaromír Čižnár