The Constitutional Court, at a non-public hearing on June 29, upheld a complaint submitted by Justice Minister Lucia Žitňanská and found Supreme Court Chairman Štefan Harabin guilty of committing serious disciplinary misconduct, the TASR newswire reported.
Harabin last summer repeatedly prevented government officials from conducting a financial audit at the Supreme Court. The Constitutional Court punished Harabin by reducing his salary by 70 percent for a period of one year, TASR wrote.
Harabin said on Wednesday that he views the Constitutional Court's verdict as a political decision. "It's a punishment for my legal opinion, as my predecessor Milan Karabin was acquitted in a similar case. The disciplinary court apparently violated the constitution by not respecting the valid decision of the Supreme Court," said Harabin in a statement provided to TASR by the Supreme Court Chairman's Office.
Taking action in response to illegal decisions made by any representative of the judiciary is the right thing to do, Žitňanská said in her reaction to the decision of the Constitutional Court.
"Not even a high-ranking representative of the judiciary can do anything they want, there has to be a line for them as well. And that line is the law and public interest," said Žitňanská. She added that the fact that the Supreme Court and Constitutional Court have clashing opinions on the audit indicates how serious the situation in the judiciary really is.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
30. Jun 2011 at 10:00