The Justice Ministry has been instructed by a court to pay its state secretary – its second highest ranking official after the minister - Daniel Hudák €33,194 in damages for harming his reputation.
On April 1, the Regional Court in Bratislava confirmed a verdict from last year by the Bratislava I District Court, the SITA newswire reported. The Regional Court argued that the social status of Hudák was illegitimately interfered with. “This whole case has been publicised, and the wider public has learnt about it even before the Slovak Supreme Court had decided on it as a disciplinary case,” the head of the Regional Court senate said. The verdict is effective immediately.
The Justice Ministry has appealed against the latest verdict, arguing that the amount of the compensation required by Hudák does not reflect the degree by which his reputation was damaged. Hudák, then a judge, sued the Justice Ministry for its proposal to launch a disciplinary procedure against him instigated by a former justice minister, Daniel Lipšic. According to Lipšic, a mistake by Hudák led to a murderer being set free from detention. In another case, the Slovak Supreme Court revoked a life sentence verdict passed by Hudák, since he had passed judgement before assessing an objection on grounds of partiality.
According to media reports, Hudák sued the Justice Ministry soon after the 2006 elections, once the present justice minister, Štefan Harabin, had been appointed. The Slovak Supreme Court later decided that Hudák had not erred in the two cases cited. Hudák then pursued the present case for damages. SITA
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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1. Apr 2009 at 14:00