MPs' immunity from criminal prosecution is likely to be scrapped as of September 1, after representatives of all the parties in parliament agreed on Wednesday, May 16, to amend the constitution to that effect, Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) MP Radoslav Procházka told the TASR newswire.
Legislators will remain exempt from prosecution for statements they make in parliament as well as for the way in which they vote. The amendment to the constitution is to be submitted to a parliamentary session in June, with 90 votes (a two-thirds majority) needed for it to pass. Under the changed rules, parliament's assent will still be needed before an MP can be taken into custody, unless they are apprehended in the act of committing a crime, in which case the police will have to notify the speaker of parliament and the head of the parliamentary mandate and immunity committee.
According to Procházka, who sat on a working group in charge of drafting the amendment, judges will retain their immunity as it currently stands. Speaker of Parliament Pavol Paška (Smer) admitted that judges may also be stripped of their immunity in future. Paška went on to call the agreement to scrap MPs’ immunity "99.9-percent final", and vowed that the ruling Smer party would back the constitutional bill.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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