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Harabin will let judges testify in Vovčík case

President of the Supreme Court Štefan Harabin is ready to lift the oath of confidentiality of judges upon request of law-enforcement authorities, he told the SITA newswire through the press section of the Supreme Court. He writes this in response to a lawsuit against four judges filed by Jan Vovčík.

President of the Supreme Court Štefan Harabin is ready to lift the oath of confidentiality of judges upon request of law-enforcement authorities, he told the SITA newswire through the press section of the Supreme Court. He writes this in response to a lawsuit against four judges filed by Jan Vovčík.

The dailies Sme and Hospodárske noviny reported on Monday, August 13, that Vovčík has accused four judges of the Supreme Court of corruption, and that he claims that a verdict of the Supreme Court from April 2012 cost him €233,000: three judges took €33,000 each and the rest was divided between the chair of a trade-legal college and the lawyer. Vovčík, who also filed a criminal motion, was involved in a lawsuit concerning dividends worth €700,000 with the Agrifop Company. In two lawsuits since 2006, he sought the right to dividends totalling Sk22.8 million (€757,000) from two of the statutory representatives of a company that privatised a state farm in Stakčín, the Hospodárske noviny wrote. He is a minority shareholder in the joint stock company. The upper court turned down his appeal and upheld the verdicts of the lower court. Vovčík also sued the lower court judges, Sme wrote. If he fails to prove his accusation, he will be tried for perjury. Head of the chair of the trade-legal college Juraj Seman will probably also sue him in a civil trial.

"The head of the panel was the mediator. He gave the judges in the panel half a million and shared the remaining four million with the lawyer," Vovčík told the HN. He claims to have three or four witnesses who have information about this bribe. He did not disclose their names. Their willingness to testify, according to Vovčík, will depend on who will investigate the case. "If it is local police, then probably not," he said. In addition to the police, Vovčík also turned to Harabin, asking him to start disciplinary proceedings against the judges. He claims that the court file was intentionally manipulated.

"... Harabin has asked all the involved judges for their position, not just the head of the panel of judges," SITA quoted the court statement. Harabin has passed on the motion to the Justice Ministry, so that it would not be possible to accuse him of false judicial solidarity and bias.

(Source: SITA, Sme, Hospodárske noviny)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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