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Opposition attempt to oust Justice Minister Harabin fails

Parliament on September 4 rejected an opposition motion of no confidence in Justice Minister Štefan Harabin.

Parliament on September 4 rejected an opposition motion of no confidence in Justice Minister Štefan Harabin.

Fifty-five deputies supported the no-confidence motion, seventy-five deputies voted against the minister's recall and one deputy abstained from voting. The opposition wanted to have the minister sacked because of his allegedly friendly contacts with Baki Sadiki, an Albanian man living in Slovakia, who has been accused of involvement in the heroin trade and has been convicted of several crimes, including illegal possession of firearms.

Included in the opposition's proposal to recall the minister is a tape-recording of a 1994 telephone conversation between the minister [who was a Supreme Court judge at that time] and Mr. Sadiki that is said to confirm their friendly relations as well as a request by the head of the penal department of the General Prosecution Office, Peter Fillip, to have Harabin excluded from decision-making regarding Sadiki.

Prime Minister Robert Fico rejected the motion as ungrounded. He insisted that Harabin had not violated his legal duties as a judge and had proceeded in line with the law. He said that documents allegedly proving Harabin's confidential contacts with Sadiki have never been part of Sadiki’s criminal file.

Harabin himself compared one of his main accusers, KDH MP and former justice minister Daniel Lipšic, to Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels, saying that Lipšic would return to the justice ministry only as a prisoner, to do cleaning work. SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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