SLOVAK WORD OF THE WEEK

Súboj

THE LIST of famous people killed in a duel (súboj) came close to lengthening recently. Pushkin would have been joined by an unlikely companion – Jozef Čentéš. Much has been written here about the election and appointment of the general prosecutor. But the madness has really reached new heights. It now turns out that Ľubomír Macejka, the husband of Constitutional Court President Ivetta Macejková, wrote Čentéš an angry letter:“I regret that we do not live in a time when I could challenge you to a duel. I would give you the choice of weapons.” “I wish that not only prosecutors, but also people who have thus far known nothing of you, expel you from their company, as someone humanly unacceptable.”

THE LIST of famous people killed in a duel (súboj) came close to lengthening recently. Pushkin would have been joined by an unlikely companion – Jozef Čentéš. Much has been written here about the election and appointment of the general prosecutor. But the madness has really reached new heights. It now turns out that Ľubomír Macejka, the husband of Constitutional Court President Ivetta Macejková, wrote Čentéš an angry letter:
“I regret that we do not live in a time when I could challenge you to a duel. I would give you the choice of weapons.”
“I wish that not only prosecutors, but also people who have thus far known nothing of you, expel you from their company, as someone humanly unacceptable.”

“Your failure of character only confirms that academic degrees can not hide the ill-mannered ignoramus that I consider you to be.”

“God save the Slovak Republic, should you, with your mental capacities, ever be the boss of anything.”

What moved the Bratislava lawyer to pen these lines? Apparently, it was the objection that Čentéš filed at the Constitutional Court, questioning the impartiality of Macejka’s wife, Ivetta Macejková, to judge his case. That document contains nothing as wild as the reaction it provoked – it simply states that Macejková has a “friendly” and “above-standard” relationship with president Ivan Gašparovič, who refuses to appoint him to office and is therefore his adversary in the case before Macejková’s court.

The real outrage is not the letter. It is the fact that Macejka ever received the information that moved him to write it. Macejková is not allowed to talk about her cases, not even with her husband, and not even if they involve her personally. Doing so is another serious breach of her duties within a very short time – she earlier rejected a proposed solution to the lock-out at the court, and later illegally manipulated Čentéš’ file. She is not planning to take any responsibility for her actions and no one can force her to. But you really have to wonder whether it is time for her to go.

But back to Čentéš – anyone who has met him will tell you that he seems mild-mannered, contemplative, and somewhat hesitant. Your typical academic. It’s therefore a real irony that this man is engaged in the biggest political battle Gašparovič has fought as president, that he is formally the chief opponent of the apparently dangerous group that now runs the prosecution service, and that he is an opponent of Prime Minister Robert Fico, who is not used to anyone standing up to him these days. Not to mention being the arch-enemy of Macejková’s husband. You would almost think he was born to duel.

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