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Constitutional Court cancels hearing over Čentéš’ complaint

THE CONSTITUTIONAL Court will not deal with the complaint Jozef Čentéš submitted on November 7, 2011 over the violation of his fundamental rights when he was prevented from taking up the office of general prosecutor even after being legally elected to the post by parliament on June 17, 2011. Though the proceeding was scheduled for October 10, the court had to cancel it due to the objection it received from President Ivan Gašparovič, the SITA newswire reported on October 8.

THE CONSTITUTIONAL Court will not deal with the complaint Jozef Čentéš submitted on November 7, 2011 over the violation of his fundamental rights when he was prevented from taking up the office of general prosecutor even after being legally elected to the post by parliament on June 17, 2011. Though the proceeding was scheduled for October 10, the court had to cancel it due to the objection it received from President Ivan Gašparovič, the SITA newswire reported on October 8.

Gašparovič objected to the members of the senate assigned to deal with Čentéš’ complaint, Justices Sergej Kohut, Juraj Horváth and Rudolf Tkáčik, saying they could be biased.

“Both proceedings over my constitutional complaints are currently blocked because of the objections of the president against Constitutional Court justices, the majority of whom he appointed to the function,” Čentéš told SITA, adding that there are no other undecided objections.

Čentéš said that it is important that the justices will rule over his constitutional complaints quickly, fairly and impartially. If the state bodies will block this, Čentéš said he is prepared to turn to the European Court of Human Rights, as reported by SITA.

After a series of parliamentary manoeuvres in late 2010 and early 2011, in which open balloting was approved – but then challenged by then deputy Robert Fico and other Smer MPs at the Constitutional Court – Čentéš was ultimately elected in June 2011, ironically via a secret ballot. However, President Gašparovič then declined to formally appoint him, citing various Constitutional Court cases that had emerged relating to Čentéš’ election.

In October 2011 the Constitutional Court ruled that both secret and open ballots were legitimate means for parliament to elect the general prosecutor. Finally, in late 2012, the Constitutional Court ruled that the president has the right to refuse to appoint parliament’s choice of general prosecutor, but that he must cite valid reasons for doing so. At the very end of 2012, Gašparovič sent a letter to the speaker of parliament in which he formally rejected Čentéš. Čentéš promptly appealed his decision with the Constitutional Court, claiming that his rights had been infringed, but the case became bogged down after he and Gašparovič challenged 12 of the court’s 13 judges on grounds of alleged bias.

Source: SITA

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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