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Čentéš case still in deadlock

THE CASE of Jozef Čentéš, whom the country’s president refused to appoint to the post of general prosecutor despite having been legally elected by parliament, will not be resolved anytime soon.The Constitutional Court (CC), which is supposed to decide over Čentéš’ complaint about the conduct of President Ivan Gašparovič, who let Čentéš wait 565 days before deciding not to appoint him, postponed its ruling for an unspecified period of time. The court’s senate assigned to the case was scheduled to rule on it on October 10.

THE CASE of Jozef Čentéš, whom the country’s president refused to appoint to the post of general prosecutor despite having been legally elected by parliament, will not be resolved anytime soon.
The Constitutional Court (CC), which is supposed to decide over Čentéš’ complaint about the conduct of President Ivan Gašparovič, who let Čentéš wait 565 days before deciding not to appoint him, postponed its ruling for an unspecified period of time. The court’s senate assigned to the case was scheduled to rule on it on October 10.

The senate’s session was postponed, however, due to the president’s objections of bias against justices Juraj Horváth, Sergej Kohut and Rudolf Tkáčik, which the Court received on October 7, CC spokesperson Anna Pančurová said, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

The president’s spokesperson, Marek Trubač, said the president did not file any new last-minute objections, but that he only added reasons to those which he had already filed. Trubač refused to specify the additional reasons, the Sme daily reported.

Čentéš was elected to the post of general prosecutor in June 2011. However, Gašparovič declined to formally appoint him, citing various CC cases relating to Čentéš’ election to the post. In October 2011, the CC ruled that both secret and open ballots were legitimate means for parliament to elect the general prosecutor.

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 valid justification for doing so. At the end of 2012, Gašparovič sent a letter to the speaker of parliament in which he formally rejected Čentéš. Čentéš promptly appealed this decision to the CC, but the case became bogged down when Čentéš and Gašparovič challenged 12 of the court’s 13 judges on grounds of alleged bias.

Čentéš claims the ruling is only hindered by the objections filed by Gašparovič against the judges, most of whom he alone selected, Sme wrote.

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

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