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Former Constitutional Court president Mazák points to loophole in new court law

The government’s plan to allow two judges of the Constitutional Court to decide over the complaint of the elected but not appointed general prosecutor Jozef Čentéš, even though they were excluded from doing so, could fail, former president of the Constitutional Court Ján Mazák told the Sme daily.

The government’s plan to allow two judges of the Constitutional Court to decide over the complaint of the elected but not appointed general prosecutor Jozef Čentéš, even though they were excluded from doing so, could fail, former president of the Constitutional Court Ján Mazák told the Sme daily.

“The only thing that happened objectively and that remained unquestionable is the drawing of lots over the composition of the senate,” said Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák, as quoted by Sme, during the political talk shows that took place on May 4 and 5.

Kaliňák thus confirmed that, according to the government’s plan, excluded judges Peter Brňák and Milan Ľalík should be able to decide on the legal dispute between Čentéš and President Ivan Gašparovič.

However, Mazák indicated that in order for the government to realise its plan, it needs to fine-tune the amendment, which was adopted last week in a fast-tracked proceeding,

He noted that although the amendment takes into consideration hearings that began but were not concluded prior to its enactment, it does not specify whether it will have any impact on judicial decisions made prior to the amendment.

Mazák has proposed that, in accordance with the rules of the Civil Procedure Law, it is okay for the amendment to apply to hearings that were started prior to the amendment, but not decisions that have already been handed down, as reported in Sme.

Slovak Democratic and Christian Union MP Lucia Žitňanská called on the president not to sign the amendment to the law on the Constitutional Court order, passed in a fast-tracked proceeding on April 30, in order to prevent the denial of fundamental principles of the rule of law and to create space for the Constitutional Court to find a way out of the current deadlock, the TASR newswire reported on May 5.

Meanwhile, the Hospodárske Noviny daily wrote in its May 6 issue that the ruling Smer pushed through changes at the Constitutional Court in a fast-tracked proceeding in order to be able to elect its own candidate for the post of general prosecutor. Their candidate is alleged to be Bratislava regional prosecutor Jaroslav Čižnár, whose name has already been mentioned in association with this post.

Source: Sme, TASR, HN

For more information about this story please see: Čentéš case: Fico rams through law change

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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