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Judges assigned; Čentéš objects

WHILE politicians argued over how to debate the decision of President Ivan Gašparovič not to appoint Jozef Čentéš to the top prosecutor’s job, the Constitutional Court assigned the complaint Čentéš had filed against the president’s decision to a panel of judges. Čentéš has already objected to its composition, the SITA newswire reported on January 9.

WHILE politicians argued over how to debate the decision of President Ivan Gašparovič not to appoint Jozef Čentéš to the top prosecutor’s job, the Constitutional Court assigned the complaint Čentéš had filed against the president’s decision to a panel of judges. Čentéš has already objected to its composition, the SITA newswire reported on January 9.

The judge-rapporteur appointed to handle Čentéš’ motion is Peter Brňák. He will review the complaint and prepare it for a preliminary hearing by the Constitutional Court’s first panel, which also includes judges Marianna Mochnáčová as chairwoman and Milan Ľalík.

Shortly after publishing the names of the judges, Čentéš objected to two of the judges on grounds of alleged bias and partiality, suggesting that his complaint could not possibly succeed given such a senate, the Sme daily wrote.

Though Čentéš did not specifically name the judges he objected to, Sme reported that the general prosecutor-elect might object to Brňák, who between 1990 and 2002 was a member of the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS), the political party in which Gašparovič was a leading member, and Ľalík, who served as head of the civil department at the Justice Ministry at the time the current president of the Supreme Court, Štefan Harabin, was minister. Ľalík’s son recently wrote on the Jinepravo.blogspot.com website that the decision not to appoint Čentéš “fulfils the limitations of the Constitutional Court’s ruling”, Sme wrote.

The complaint over the composition of the senate will be judged by Lajos Meszáros, Sergej Kohut and Juraj Horváth, Sme wrote.

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