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Judge who released alleged hitman is demoted

Supreme Court Judge Ján Mihál, held responsible for releasing an alleged hitman, Jaroslav P., a reputed member of a criminal gang allegedly led by Robert Okoličány, has been transferred to a lower level court, the Supreme Court’s Press and Information Section told the TASR newswire. The Disciplinary Court Appeal Body confirmed the decision of a district court from April 2011 on the disciplinary complaint against Mihál. The complaint, filed by Supreme Court President Štefan Harabin in August 2009, accused Mihál of three counts of misconduct. The first count involved the suspect's release and other misconduct concerned delays in court proceedings in two unrelated cases. Harabin had proposed that Mihál, who has denied all accusations, be dismissed as a judge. The Judicial Council later issued a decision temporarily suspending Mihál from his duties.

Supreme Court Judge Ján Mihál, held responsible for releasing an alleged hitman, Jaroslav P., a reputed member of a criminal gang allegedly led by Robert Okoličány, has been transferred to a lower level court, the Supreme Court’s Press and Information Section told the TASR newswire.

The Disciplinary Court Appeal Body confirmed the decision of a district court from April 2011 on the disciplinary complaint against Mihál. The complaint, filed by Supreme Court President Štefan Harabin in August 2009, accused Mihál of three counts of misconduct. The first count involved the suspect's release and other misconduct concerned delays in court proceedings in two unrelated cases. Harabin had proposed that Mihál, who has denied all accusations, be dismissed as a judge. The Judicial Council later issued a decision temporarily suspending Mihál from his duties.

Originally, Jaroslav P. was sentenced to life in prison but the sentence is not in effect, the SITA newswire wrote.

It is not possible for the judge to appeal the verdict of the disciplinary court. The verdict was issued in absence of the judge and the chairwoman of the disciplinary senate said she perceived the judge's absence as his further obstruction of the disciplinary proceedings. Mihál's attorney was not present either.

Source: TASR, SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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