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Prosecution of filmmaker Zuzana Piussi halted

The police have stopped the criminal prosecution of filmmaker Zuzana Piussi for an alleged violation of confidentiality of verbal expression in a private conversation, the SITA newswire reported on January 18.

The police have stopped the criminal prosecution of filmmaker Zuzana Piussi for an alleged violation of confidentiality of verbal expression in a private conversation, the SITA newswire reported on January 18.

Spokesperson for the regional police corps directorate in Trenčín, Elena Antalová, said, as quoted by SITA, that the prosecution is being halted because “this deed is not a criminal offence and there is no reason for referral [to other authorities]”.

The complaint against Piussi was submitted by judge Helena Kožíková, a former head of the Bratislava I District Court, who is featured in Piussi’s film ‘The Disease of the Third Power’. It is a critical documentary about what its creators call “black holes” in Slovakia’s judiciary.

The documentary features Kožíková in conversation with the daughter of the late Marta Lauková, another judge. The daughter is seen trying to confront Kožíková about statements she had made earlier to the deceased judge. Kožíková, a former member of the Judicial Council, Slovakia’s top judicial body, alleges that the interview with her that appears in the film was recorded and broadcast without her consent. Part of Kožíková’s face is obscured in the film but she claims that she is still identifiable.

The case of Lauková received wide publicity. Back in 2009 she claimed that her superior, Gabriela Buľubášová, then head of the Bratislava I District Court, had attempted to influence one of her decisions. Lauková filed a criminal complaint in the autumn of 2009 and submitted as evidence a note from Buľubášová, which stated that she should release a member of a gang accused of international human trafficking. Judge Lauková did not do so and shortly afterwards was transferred from the court’s criminal department to its civil law department. She then fell ill and went on sick leave, but was stripped of various bonuses after her superiors alleged that her sick leave was unjustified. Lauková died shortly afterwards. The police later halted their investigation of Buľubášová and closed the case, stating that no crime had been committed.

After publishing the information about the prosecution, Piussi has received support from several associations and organisations, including Slovak Centre PEN and the Association of Independent Producers, as well as more than 60 artists and the public, SITA wrote.

Source: SITA

For more information about this story please see: Filmmaker faces prosecution

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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