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NKÚ completes Supreme Court audit

AN AUDIT performed by Slovakia's Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ) at the Supreme Court in April found no violations of the law or other financial problems in the court’s final financial report for 2011, the SITA newswire reported on May 11.

AN AUDIT performed by Slovakia's Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ) at the Supreme Court in April found no violations of the law or other financial problems in the court’s final financial report for 2011, the SITA newswire reported on May 11.

“It confirmed that we have no overpriced tenders, purchases or suspicious disadvantageous state contracts like the ‘blue gorillas’,” said the court’s president, Štefan Harabin, as quoted by SITA. “Blue gorillas” was an apparent reference to his personal opponents in the previous centre-right government.

The NKÚ checked the accuracy of the final report of the Supreme Court for 2011. Court expenses had been projected at €8,036,091 but actual spending was marginally lower, at 99.96 percent of the planned expenditure.

The audit by the NKÚ was requested by Harabin after he repeatedly refused to allow auditors from the Finance Ministry, then under minister Ivan Mikloš, review the court’s books, saying that the ministry's audit was politically motivated.

Former justice minister Lucia Žitňanská filed a disciplinary proposal against Harabin for his conduct and the Constitutional Court disciplined Harabin by cutting his salary by 70 percent for a year.

Harabin later lodged a complaint with the European Court for Human Rights that is still pending.

On May 16 a special committee of the Finance Ministry decided to cancel a fine of €33,000 imposed on the Supreme Court in August 2010 for its repeated refusal to allow entry to ministry auditors.

Current Finance Minister Peter Kažimír said that the composition of the committee was defined by Mikloš, now an MP for the opposition Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) and its members were appointed in January this year.

Kažimír added that members of the committee members had changed their opinion on the fine after his predecessor departed the ministry, SITA reported.

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