A Specialised Criminal Court to be based in Pezinok, north of Bratislava, will be established, as 119 MPs backed the government's proposal to do so in a vote in parliament on June 18, the TASR newswire wrote.
The legislation will come into force on the day that the Constitutional Court's recent ruling that the current Special Court was established in violation of the Slovak Constitution is published in the Legal Code. The new court is intended to replace the Special Court.
The initiative was backed by all MPs present from the governing coalition’s Smer party as well as the three opposition parties. In addition, nearly all MPs from the junior coalition partner, the Slovak National Party (SNS) voted in favour of the bill. All MPs from the HZDS party except for Zdenka Kramplová voted against the initiative.
Parliament also decided that the judges of the Specialised Court will have non-stop bodyguard protection, as was the case with the Special Court. The original proposal only required bodyguards to be assigned on request.
Bonuses for the judges will set at twice the average Slovak salary rather than six times as was the case for the Special Court, the TASR wrote. Originally, the government proposal set the figure at 1.3 times the average salary.
The previous condition requiring judges to hold a top security clearance in order to be eligible was scrapped for the new court. The court will have its remit expanded in comparison to the court it is to replace.
HZDS leader and former three-time prime minister Vladimír Mečiar who strongly opposes the establishment of the new court said earlier that he intends to file a complaint against the new court with Slovakia’s Constitutional Court. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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19. Jun 2009 at 10:00