PRESIDENT Ivan Gašparovič will not recall Juraj Horváth from his post as a constitutional court judge for now, the SITA newswire wrote.
Horváth was sentenced for tax evasion worth about Sk270,000 (Ř8,000) in 1996, and once the case came to light, other Constitutional Court judges called for his resignation and invited the president to weigh in. But after reviewing the case, Gašparovič decided the dismissal wasn’t necessary, presidential spokesperson Marek Turbač told the media on January 3.
“The president can dismiss a judge based on a motion by the Constitutional Court president in the case of a disciplinary action, or if the criterion for a dismissal set by the constitution is fulfilled,” Trubač said. “This criterion has not been fulfilled so far.”
The Regional Court in Bratislava sentenced Horváth for tax evasion in 1996. The breach happened when the Autokomm company, which he directed and co-owned, imported eight cars. Horváth kept one of them, but he did not report the tax duty.
Horváth defended himself in the case, claiming it was only negligence. The court sentenced him to six months in prison, suspended for one year.
Prior to his nomination for the Constitutional Court, the sentence was deleted from his criminal record under valid legal rules. After this information became public, his colleagues at the Constitutional Court wanted him to resign, but he refused.
Constitutional Court President Ivetta Macejková told SITA that the president has the power to sack Horváth, as he had been lawfully sentenced for an intentional criminal offense.
14. Jan 2008 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff from press reports