Slovak MPs to lose immunity from criminal prosecution

Providing a law change proposed by the incoming government is passed, the police will no longer have to seek parliament’s approval to prosecute MPs accused of criminal offences. The Smer party, which won the March 10 parliamentary elections, has promised to prepare a draft amendment to the Criminal Code which will scrap MPs’ immunity from criminal prosecution, the Sme daily reported.

Providing a law change proposed by the incoming government is passed, the police will no longer have to seek parliament’s approval to prosecute MPs accused of criminal offences. The Smer party, which won the March 10 parliamentary elections, has promised to prepare a draft amendment to the Criminal Code which will scrap MPs’ immunity from criminal prosecution, the Sme daily reported.

“I cannot see a reason why an MP should have the privilege of needing the consent of the parliament for his criminal prosecution,” said Smer leader Robert Fico, as quoted by Sme.

Smer will need at least 90 votes to remove MPs’ immunity, since scrapping the protection against criminal prosecution is defined as a constitutional law. However, a majority of the representatives of the centre-right parties that made it into parliament have already welcomed the initiative, so Smer should have no problem getting the change passed.

Scrapping MPs’ immunity is not a new issue: there have been several attempts, including one by the outgoing government, to curb their immunity from criminal prosecution. Ironically, the most recent attempt failed because of the refusal of Smer to back such a move.

Source: Sme

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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