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Čentéš’ objection of bias was ignored, Constitutional Court tries again

The Constitutional Court (CC) sat on Monday, July 29 and adopted the first verdict concerning the case of elected but never appointed candidate for prosecutor general, Jozef Čentéš. The CC panel consisting of Rudolf Tkáčik, Ľudmila Gajdošíková and Iveta Macejková decided that justices Ján Auxt and Ľubomír Dobrík are not excluded from further decision-making in his case.

The Constitutional Court (CC) sat on Monday, July 29 and adopted the first verdict concerning the case of elected but never appointed candidate for prosecutor general, Jozef Čentéš. The CC panel consisting of Rudolf Tkáčik, Ľudmila Gajdošíková and Iveta Macejková decided that justices Ján Auxt and Ľubomír Dobrík are not excluded from further decision-making in his case.

The CC had been blocked from meeting by parliament in recent weeks. Čentéš had proposed to the two justice citing bias and their close relationship with President Ivan Gašparovič, who had refused to appoint Čentéš, the Sme daily wrote in its Tuesday issue. In the past, justices excused themselves from the panel deciding on a similar matter concerning Čentéš, citing potential bias. The court did not specify the reasons for this step on its website.

Auxt and Dobrík are to rule on the objection filed by Gašparovič in February 2014. A week later, Čentéš filed an objection of bias concerning Auxt and Dobrík, the TASR newswire wrote. The case has been deadlocked since.

Čentéš was elected for the post of general prosecutor in June 2011. However, Gašparovič declined to formally appoint him, citing various CC cases that had been brought relating to Čentéš’ election. In October 2011, the CC ruled that both secret and open ballots were legitimate means for parliament to elect the general prosecutor (the secret ballot was the reason cited for Čentéš not being appointed, although he was finally elected in an open vote). Finally, in late 2012, the CC ruled that the president has the right to refuse to appoint parliament’s choice of general prosecutor, but that he must cite good reasons for doing so. At the end of 2012, Gašparovič sent a letter to the parliament speaker formally rejecting Čentéš. Čentéš promptly appealed this decision to the CC, but the case became bogged down as between Čentéš and Gašparovič the two challenged 12 of the court’s 13 judges on grounds of alleged bias.

(Source: Sme, TASR)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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