NEWS IN SHORT

Another Supreme Court audit fails

A SIXTH attempt by the Finance Ministry to conduct an audit at the Supreme Court on December 8 was unsuccessful, the TASR newswire reported.

A SIXTH attempt by the Finance Ministry to conduct an audit at the Supreme Court on December 8 was unsuccessful, the TASR newswire reported.

“The audit was launched and halted at the same time because the Supreme Court insists on its stance that the only institution authorised to audit the court is the Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ),” said Martin Jaroš, the spokesperson for the Finance Ministry, as quoted by TASR.

The Supreme Court has claimed that the Finance Ministry has no right to conduct an audit because the court is not part of the executive branch. But Jaroš said the Finance Ministry is basing its authority on a ruling by the Constitutional Court that such an audit does not violate the Supreme Court’s independence because it only deals with the court’s financial management and not its judicial power, the SITA newswire wrote.

The Finance Ministry has already given the Supreme Court a fine of €33,000 after the failure of a fifth audit attempt in July 2011. The ministry has been trying to conduct an audit since July 2010.

Slovakia’s Constitutional Court ruled on June 29 that Štefan Harabin, the Supreme Court’s president, should be penalised by the loss of 70 percent of his salary for one year for his previous refusal to allow the Finance Ministry to check the court’s accounts.


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