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Supreme Court Senate chair resigns

SUPREME Court Senate Chairman Jozef Kandera, the presiding judge in the case of alleged organised crime boss Branislav Adamčo and the so-called 'acid gang' that dissolved the corpses of its victims in acid, resigned from his post on April 13.

SUPREME Court Senate Chairman Jozef Kandera, the presiding judge in the case of alleged organised crime boss Branislav Adamčo and the so-called 'acid gang' that dissolved the corpses of its victims in acid, resigned from his post on April 13.

Kandera announced his decision in writing to Slovak President Ivan Gašparovič and Supreme Court Chairman Štefan Harabin.

“We can confirm that Mr. Kandera stepped down from the post of judge,” Sylvia Machalová from the Supreme Court Chairman's Office told the TASR newswire. In his written statement to the Slovak President, Kandera offered no explanation as to why he was resigning.

However, TASR reported him as saying: “I've chosen to step down because of the state the Slovak judiciary is in, as well as because of my family and due to the disciplinary actions led against me [by the Slovak Judicial Council].”

The Sme daily reported that Kandera has previously gone on record as criticising the condition of the justice system. He also was among the signatories of a recent initiative highlighting the issue, entitled For an Open Judiciary.

Sme also wrote that Supreme Court President Štefan Harabin initiated a disciplinary proceeding against Kandera, reproaching him for what he called procrastination in four court trials.

Two of the cases pertained to the acid gang case.

In March the disciplinary court punished him with a fine worth 15 percent of his salary. At the time Kandera said he couldn’t accept it, because he felt blameless, Sme wrote.

According to Sme, Kandera's colleagues were surprised by his decision, and fellow signatories of the initiative told the daily that Kandera's departure was a great loss for the judiciary.

His status as a judge will be terminated as of April 30, with Kandera taking a leave of absence as of April 15. The case of Adamčo et al will therefore have to be taken on by another judge.


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