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Sme: Judges oppose Harabin

Nine justices of the Slovak Supreme Court revolted against its chairman, Štefan Harabin, condemning his attacks on the Constitutional Court after its last decision concerning the so-called Ducký’s bills, a kind of promissory note. After the Constitutional Court overturned the verdict of the Supreme Court, Harabin announced he would file a motion asking for disciplinary proceeding against the constitutional justices, or a criminal motion.

Nine justices of the Slovak Supreme Court revolted against its chairman, Štefan Harabin, condemning his attacks on the Constitutional Court after its last decision concerning the so-called Ducký’s bills, a kind of promissory note. After the Constitutional Court overturned the verdict of the Supreme Court, Harabin announced he would file a motion asking for disciplinary proceeding against the constitutional justices, or a criminal motion.

“As the head of the Supreme Court should know the law and should be aware that a judge cannot be prosecuted for his decision, we perceive his statements as an attempt to expand the fear in the judicial system, an attack on its independence and downplay grave flaws of the chairman of the Supreme Court,” justices write, adding that Harabin has been long dishonouring not only the Supreme Court but the whole judicial system with his statements.

So far, the protest has been signed by justices Elena Berthotyová, Igor Belko, Jana Henčeková, Miroslav Gavalec, Zuzana Ďurišová, Milan Karabin, Peter Paluda, Rudolf Čirč and Juraj Kliment. They also defended the Constitutional Court in this case, deeming its verdict as final.

On August 13, the Constitutional Court agreed with the complaint of the Swiss company GEN MAN VENTURES AG which requests for the Ducký’s bills to be paid – amounting to 1 billion Czech crowns (€38,648,837). The Constitutional Court ruled that the Supreme Court violated, through its previous proceeding, the right of the complainant for a lawful judge to decide the case. Harabin denies any “political criticism of the seven judges, already familiar to public, led by Karabin and Paluda”, according to Sme.

The so-called Ducký’s Bills of Exchange, amounting to Sk1.4 billion (now equivalent to approximately €46 million), were supposed to have been signed by Ján Ducký, a former director of SPP, who was shot and killed in front of his house in Bratislava in January 1999. He served as economy minister in two governments under Prime Minister Vladimír Mečiar between 1992 and 1998. The bills are connected to the SPP and have become the bone of contention and the core of a protracted lawsuit since then. Ducký’s death is thus far unexplained.

Source: Sme

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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