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NGOs ask some members of the Judicial Council if they are biased towards Harabin

Several non-governmental organisations and several judges led by the Fair Play Alliance and Transparency International Slovakia called on several members of the Judicial Council to state whether or not they are biased in favour of Justice Minister Štefan Harabin, one of the two candidates for the post of Supreme Court chairman, the TASR newswire wrote.

Several non-governmental organisations and several judges led by the Fair Play Alliance and Transparency International Slovakia called on several members of the Judicial Council to state whether or not they are biased in favour of Justice Minister Štefan Harabin, one of the two candidates for the post of Supreme Court chairman, the TASR newswire wrote.

The Judicial Council will elect a new presdient on June 22. The NGOs addressed their appeal to seven judges who were appointed to their Judicial Council posts by Harabin and also to one judge who has publicly expressed his support for the minister, TASR reported.

One of the judges that signed the initiative, Jana Dubovcová from the Banská Bystrica Regional Court, said that she wants the concerned judges to withdraw from the election process, not just to abstain from voting.

Dubovcová also said that it isn't very correct that the current Justice Minister is running for the Supreme Court chair, adding that lower-level Judicial Councils submitted Harabin's candidacy for the Supreme Court position because they were asked to do so, even though most judges don't agree with his candidacy.

Justice Ministry spokesperson Michal Jurči said that the NGOs are afraid that their preferred opposition candidate won't win. The NGOs and the judges involved in the initiative say that the members of the Judicial Council may be prejudiced or could favour Harabin for non-transparent reasons. TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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