Slovakia’s recently appointed general prosecutor Jaromír Čižnár set out his priorities, planned steps and future changes on July 25, at his first meeting with journalists. “Staff changes at top positions in the General Prosecutor’s Office are not easy,” he said, as quoted by the TASR newswire.
He announced the very first changes – the replacement of the two current deputy general prosecutors: Ladislav Tichý, who has been acting as general prosecutor for the past two years; and Dobroslav Trnka, who was the last full-term general prosecutor. The head of the Department of Special Tasks at the Office of the General Prosecutor, Peter Šufliarsky has been temporarily appointed to cover Trnka’s position.
Čižnár said that planned changes at the office are made in two ways: staffers resign, or their dismissal is agreed upon and approved by the Council of Prosecutors. “Thus, this is a longer process which does not last for one day or one week – it is a matter of months,” Čižnár said of the replacements, which should be completed by autumn this year. “There are competitions for the high positions, open to everyone. The criteria have been set by the Council of Prosecutors.”
Both current deputies resigned from their positions: Tichý will move to work at the Civil Department, while Trnka will work at the Organisation and Control Department. Jozef Čentéš – who was elected as general prosecutor but whom President Ivan Gašparovič refused to appoint for over two years – is already deputy head of the Criminal Department at the Office of the General Prosecutor. Both Čižnár and Čentéš have denied reports that the former had offered to make the latter his deputy.
Čižnár further said, as quoted by TASR, that he would investigate long-delayed court cases and if the prosecutor was the cause of delays (and not the police), he or she would be penalised. Čižnár was elected to his post by ruling Smer party MPs on June 18. The opposition parties did not take part in the secret-ballot parliamentary vote, arguing that the country already has a general prosecutor-elect – Čentéš, who was elected by parliament in June 2011 but was never officially appointed by Gašparovič.
Čižnár announced that the battle against tax evasion, plus good cooperation with Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák and Police President Tibor Gašpar, as well as Finance Minister Peter Kažimír (on the tax evasion front) and with regional prosecutors were his priorities. The new chief prosecutor said that he would not open disciplinary proceeding against Trnka for the infamous Glance House transfer case, as he perceives the case as being overdue, the deadline for proceedings having passed. However, he said, as reported by TASR, that he planned to meet the head of the National Security Authority (NBÚ), Jozef Magala, to discuss the conditions surrounding the security clearance granted to military prosecutor Jaroslav Kozolka, who was reportedly a collaborator of the communist-era secret police.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
25. Jul 2013 at 14:00