Fair-Play Alliance wins lawsuit against Slovakia’s prosecutor’s office

Slovakia’s General Prosecutor’s Office will have to provide access to its decision that halted criminal prosecution in the case of alleged false donors to the centre-right Slovak Democratic and Christian Union party (SDKÚ) to the election watchdog Fair-Play Alliance, the SITA newswire reported. Slovakia’s Supreme Court recently released its decision.

Slovakia’s General Prosecutor’s Office will have to provide access to its decision that halted criminal prosecution in the case of alleged false donors to the centre-right Slovak Democratic and Christian Union party (SDKÚ) to the election watchdog Fair-Play Alliance, the SITA newswire reported. Slovakia’s Supreme Court recently released its decision.

In the past, the Prosecutor’s Office rejected the alliance's request for access to the text of the resolution arguing that the law does not enable it and that it is enough to inform the public of the substance of the decision as such, and not its detailed text, SITA wrote. The Supreme Court overturned these arguments.

Legal representative of the Fair Play Alliance, Vladimír Sarnik, called this decision a breakthrough since the Supreme Court said for the first time that that any person has the right to access decisions issued in the penal procedure, not only the public statement but also the whole text of the decision, based on the law on access to information. He added that in light of the Supreme Court's verdict, the current practice of the police, prosecution offices and courts that refused to provide access to these decisions appear incorrect.

The Fair-Play Alliance requested access to the General Prosecutor’s decision to halt criminal prosecution in the case of fictitious SDKÚ donors in April 2006. It turned to the court after the office dismissed its request to be allowed to look into the decision.

The prosecutor argued that the penal order sets the range of persons to which the decision can be delivered and that the Alliance does not belong among them. In May 2006, the Fair-Play Alliance appealed against the verdict but the prosecution office turned it down. The AFP turned to the Bratislava Regional Court then to cancel the decision and return the case to it for further procedure. The regional court, however, turned down the lawsuit and thus the Alliance brought the case to the Supreme Court. SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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