Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

SLOVAK WORD OF THE WEEK

Bonanno

SLOVAKIA has plenty of its own mafia clans. Yet, it’s the Bonannos who are making headlines this week. More than two years ago, a group of Supreme Court judges, the deputy general prosecutor (who is now the acting general prosecutor) and several other lawyers met in a bar named after the infamous American crime family, decorated with posters of prominent Mafiosi and replicas of automatic weapons hanging on the walls. They fooled around in blue ear defenders like the kind worn by spree killer Ľubomír Harman, held speeches where they referenced their reproductive organs and gave out the Justice Oscar, an award they invented.

SLOVAKIA has plenty of its own mafia clans. Yet, it’s the Bonannos who are making headlines this week. More than two years ago, a group of Supreme Court judges, the deputy general prosecutor (who is now the acting general prosecutor) and several other lawyers met in a bar named after the infamous American crime family, decorated with posters of prominent Mafiosi and replicas of automatic weapons hanging on the walls. They fooled around in blue ear defenders like the kind worn by spree killer Ľubomír Harman, held speeches where they referenced their reproductive organs and gave out the Justice Oscar, an award they invented.

In any normal country, this would mean serious trouble for the careers of most of those involved. Here, the elites of the judiciary are suing the Nový Čas (New Time) daily for nearly €1 million.

Their claims are absurd. Reporting about this event was very much in the public interest. Judges are legally obliged to “refrain from any actions which may violate the reputation and dignity of their office”, both in their professional and private lives. Prosecutors have a similar duty.

The event revealed that prosecutor Ladislav Tichý and Supreme Court Justice Štefan Michálik are friends. Given that Michálik is suspected of corruption and Tichý was supposed to oversee the case, this was a good thing to know. Nový Čas should actually get a reward for writing about this. And the justice minister, the culture minister as well as regular judges and prosecutors, should be voicing their outrage over the lawsuit. But none of that is happening.

In a country where the head of the Supreme Court has yet to explain a wiretap of his friendly phone conversation with a Kosovar drug lord, the former general prosecutor is close friends with a person from the “mafia list” that was leaked from the police, and the head of the parliamentary financial committee worked for years as a manager for a controversial Russian entrepreneur, this is not much of a surprise. Slovakia has never been known for the rule of law and a strong professional ethic at the top of its judiciary.

And sadly, new times do not seem to be in sight.

Top stories

How to sell Slovak books to English readers

Slovak literature makes it to the big bookstores of London, but it is unlikely to become a bestseller yet.

On Wednesday, Slovak literature will be presented in one of the biggest bookstores in London. Among the new books translated into English is also the anthology of current Slovak prose selected and translated by Magdalena Mullek and Júlia Sherwood.

Slovakia vies for medicines agency

What chances does the country have at winning the seat of the prestigious European Medicines Agency that needs to relocate from London?

Illustrative stock photo

Vote-buying scandal lands village mayor in court

Some Roma claiming the mayor of Gemerská Poloma, Miroslav Michalka was buying votes, have changed their testimonies.

Stanislav Kučerák (blue shirt) is a key witness in the vote-buying case.

British embassy opens condolence book

The book will be opened for two days.

Floral tributes are laid out in Manchester, England, on May 23, 2017, the day after the suicide attack at an Ariana Grande concert that left 22 people dead as it ended on May 22 night.