A plenum of Slovakia’s Constitutional Court led by its president, Ivetta Macejková, suspended a disciplinary proceeding involving Supreme Court President Štefan Harabin in a closed session on December 14, the court’s spokeswoman, Anna Pančurová, told the SITA newswire. She added that the proposal to suspend the proceedings had been submitted by Harabin.
Judges Ľudmila Gajdošíková, Juraj Horváth, Lajos Meszáros and Ladislav Orosz submitted dissenting opinions. The court’s press release did not state a specific reason for suspending the disciplinary case but Pančurová said the court will state its reasons in its written decision.
The case in front of the Constitutional Court dealt with bias alleged against Harabin involving three judges of the Constitutional Court, Peter Brňák, Ľubomír Dobrík, and Milan Ľalík that was initiated by Justice Minister Lucia Žitňanská as well as an allegation of bias against Constitutional Court judges Ľudmila Gajdošíková, Ladislav Orosz, Ján Luby, Juraj Horvath and Sergej Kohut raised by Supreme Court President Harabin.
The Constitutional Court decided to remove judges Dobrík, Horváth, Ľalík from the proceedings against Harabin. The Constitutional Court also decided that judges Brňák, Gajdošíková and Luby will not be excluded from the disciplinary action proceedings. The court rejected Harabin's proposal to exclude judges Kohut and Orosz from the proceedings, SITA wrote.
Justice Minister Žitňanská has filed several proposals for disciplinary action against Harabin and the Constitutional Court has already punished Harabin with 70-percent reduction in his salary for one year for his failure to allow an audit of the Supreme Court by the Finance Ministry. Subsequently, Žitňanská lodged a second disciplinary case against Harabin alleging he had violated the duties of a judicial official by changing the work schedule at the Supreme Court and not respecting the principle of random assignment of cases to individual judges.
Žitňanská proposes that the Constitutional Court remove Harabin as a judge and asks that the Constitutional Court temporarily suspends him from the top position at the Supreme Court. She also asked the Constitutional Court to merge the disciplinary proceedings underway against Harabin and to set a date for a hearing, arguing that the disciplinary proceedings have been excessively protracted.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
15. Dec 2011 at 14:00