Justice Minister Lucia Žitňanská (Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ)) on Thursday, November 25, submitted a further proposal to the Constitutional Court to initiate disciplinary proceedings against the head of the Supreme Court, Štefan Harabin.
Žitňanská claims that Harabin failed to observe his responsibilities by changing judges' schedules, thereby violating the principle of random assignment of cases. "The random assignment of cases is the main precondition for trust in the judiciary; we introduced it a few years ago. People should be certain that their case won't be unfairly influenced," said Žitňanská.
As with a complaint submitted last week, the minister requested that Harabin should receive a fine equalling 70 percent of his annual salary. Last week's complaint concerned several attempts by the Finance Ministry to carry out an audit at the Supreme Court, all of which were thwarted by Harabin. The Supreme Court responded to that move by filing a criminal complaint against the minister with the General Prosecutor's Office over suspicions that she has misused the powers of a public official, interfered in the independence of courts, and engaged in defamation and the illegal handling of personal data.
The Supreme Court's press and information department responded to Žitňanská's latest move by saying that she is intent on punishing Harabin for measures that have resulted in the speeding-up of court proceedings, the TASR newswire reported. In addition, the court said, the justice minister continues to violate the constitution and laws, adding that instead of submitting initiatives designed to strengthen the enforceability of laws and speed up court proceedings, she persists in tabling incompetent proposals for disciplinary action that aren't based on truth and evidence.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
26. Nov 2010 at 10:00