Slovakia’s Justice Minister, Lucia Žitňanská, filed a proposal to initiate disciplinary proceedings against Supreme Court chairman Štefan Harabin on August 3, proposing that Harabin be dismissed from the post of judge, the TASR newswire reported.
Žitnanská stated Harabin's reluctance to act in the cases of judges' alleged salary discrimination as the reason for initiating the disciplinary proceedings, adding that she believes Harabin has not defended Slovakia's interests sufficiently.
Seven hundred judges are suing the Supreme Court for alleged discrimination in their salaries, seeking compensation reaching a total of €70 million. Eleven of them have already succeeded in court. Harabin did not appeal that ruling. When the ruling becomes effective, the eleven judges are to receive €100,000 each in compensation plus another €4,566 in costs. The alleged discrimination lies in the fact that judges of the Specialised Court, dealing with the most serious crimes and corruption, were paid more than other judges.
Žitňanská said that Harabin violated the law by not appealing the ruling. She pointed to the law on state property as well as the one on the budgetary rules of public administration and one concerning courts.
The Justice Ministry is currently considering an appeal against the compensation ruling or a constitutional complaint. "We're questioning the judges' entitlement, but also the amount ... that is being demanded by individual judges. If a judge applies for non-property losses, they have to prove that their honour, dignity and integrity has been besmirched and to what extent," said Žitňanská.
The disciplinary action and punishment proposed by Žitňanská against Harabin is nothing but legal nonsense and another form of political bullying, said the Supreme Court Office in a reaction released on August 3, TASR wrote.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
4. Aug 2011 at 10:00