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Justice minister opposes more immunity

SLOVAK Justice Minister Daniel Lipšic has rejected a proposal to extend parliamentary deputies' immunity from legal action, the daily SME wrote.

A draft revision to the Constitution, undersigned by New Citizens' Alliance deputy Ján Drgonec, would make deputies exempt from prosecution for statements they make in parliament during civil trials.

Lipšic says that Drgonec's proposal is outrageous, as the cabinet has promised to slash deputy immunity.

In mid January, the parliament passed the bill into its second reading. To become a valid law, the draft needs the backing of three-fifths of the 150 deputies.

Deputies could sue citizens for libel, but citizens would not be able to sue MPs who damage them, argued the justice minister, a member of the Christian Democratic Movement. Under current law, Slovak MPs are immune from criminal prosecution.

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