Finance Minister Ivan Mikloš from the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) filed a criminal complaint against Chief Justice Štefan Harabin on August 18 for obstructing the ministry’s attempts to conduct an audit at the Supreme Court, the Finance Ministry told the TASR newswire.
The criminal complaint alleging misconduct by Harabin was submitted to the Police Corps Presidium as well as to the Prosecutor General’s Office. According to Mikuláš Gera from the ministry, the Supreme Court chairman abused his powers by not allowing the ministry to audit the Court.
“As the Supreme Court chairman is repeatedly obstructing a government audit there is a justified suspicion that he is trying to prevent the discovery of illegal management of public resources at the court,” said Gera.
Harabin has refused to allow Finance Ministry officials to audit the Court’s accounts for over two weeks, arguing in writing to the ministry that the only body with the power to audit the Supreme Court is the Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ), as the court uses funds approved by parliament.
Four attempts to carry out audits have been thwarted to date. Mikloš said that checking on public spending is within the purview of his ministry and not even the Supreme Court can choose which institution will carry out audits. The Finance Ministry conducted similar audits at the Supreme Court in 2007 and 2009.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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19. Aug 2010 at 14:00