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Harabin: Ambassador may be messing with Slovakia's internal affairs

Supreme Court Chairman Štefan Harabin said, in a written statement on Wednesday, December 22 that some of the statements that of the outgoing British Ambassador, Michael Roberts, made in an interview for the Sme daily earlier this week lend the impression that he has been meddling in Slovakia's internal affairs.

Supreme Court Chairman Štefan Harabin said, in a written statement on Wednesday, December 22 that some of the statements that of the outgoing British Ambassador, Michael Roberts, made in an interview for the Sme daily earlier this week lend the impression that he has been meddling in Slovakia's internal affairs.

Speaking to the daily, Roberts criticised corruption in public procurement in Slovakia. He asserts that he has been informed that as much as 20 percent – the amount going towards bribes – is "lost" in every tender.

Roberts, appointed in 2007, also said he has met with representatives of companies taking part in public tenders who claim they had been asked to give a bribe, and only some of these were reported – at least to the media.

When reviewing justice, the ambassador said that the country has substantive problems with the rule of law – not only those problems related to the judiciary alone.

Harabin (minister of justice 2006-09) said, as quoted by the TASR newswire: "In view of the extraordinarily good relations with Great Britain, Slovakia definitely deserves to host an ambassador who respects that when entering the European Union (in 2004), the country fulfilled all criteria in terms of the independence of the judiciary."

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