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Lipšic withdraws criminal justice reform

MINISTER of Justice Daniel Lipšic, has withdrawn his draft criminal code from parliament after MPs passed a number of amendments to the bill.

Lipšic said that he had to act because of changes that made it harder to prosecute the supporters of organized crime and terrorist groups.

Lipšic claimed that the amendment would even have removed some of the weapons against organized crime that are provided by current legislation.

He and his party leader in the KDH (Christian Democratic Movement), Pavol Hrušovský, strongly criticized MPs from the coalition SDKÚ (Slovak Democratic and Christian Union) for supporting the amendments even though the bill had the approval of the governing Coalition Council.

Television news channel TA3 reported speculation that the SDKÚ proposed an amendment to support one of its MPs who is accused of precisely the offence that the amendment removed.

The parliamentary leader of the SDKÚ, Milan Hort, strongly denied this, however.

An emergency meeting of the Coalition Council agreed that the government would reconsider the proposed Criminal Code and present it to parliament again at its March session. The new law has taken six years to prepare and has been waiting in parliament since last April.

Compiled by Roger Heyes from press reports
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