Slovak police have charged Zuzana Petková, a reporter for the Sme daily, with the crime of unauthorised use of personal data because of a story that published information about the salary paid to the wife of Supreme Court President Štefan Harabin, Gabriela, by the Justice Ministry, the Sme daily reported.
She was a regular employee of the ministry and according to Harabin the ministry was not entitled to provide the information without her permission since this concerns personal data.
“The (law on) protection of personal data has not been violated,” said the lawyer for the publishing house which prints Sme, Tomáš Kamenec, as quoted by the daily in its August 2 issue. “The information was published in the public interest.”
Editor-in-chief of Sme, Matúš Kostolný, said that the journalist cannot be punished for doing her work.
Harabin issued a statement in which he described the charges as absurd. He said that the legal and moral responsibility lies with the employee of the ministry who released the data.
Kamenec pointed out that it was inappropriate that Harabin released an official statement from the position of Supreme Court president over a private matter, using the court’s press department to state it.
Justice Minister Lucia Žitňanská refused to comment on Harabin’s statements. She said the situation has been absurd since the very moment Harabin filed the criminal complaint.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
2. Aug 2011 at 10:00