THE CONSTITUTIONAL Court dealt with three disciplinary motions against Supreme Court President Štefan Harabin, filed by former justice minister, Lucia Žitňanská, during her tenure in 2010-2011, on October 30.
While on October 29 the court confirmed Harabin’s punishment of reducing his monthly salary by 70 percent for one year for hindering the Finance Ministry audit of the Supreme Court, on the following day the Constitutional Court dismissed three other motions submitted by the former justice minister.
In one of the motions, Žitňanská accused Harabin of a serious disciplinary offence, alleging that he abused the principle of random assignment of judges to cases at the court he chairs. Out of the 10 judges present at the vote, six voted against the motion while four supported it, the TASR newswire reported. Two judges, Sergej Kohut and Ladislav Orosz, were excluded from deciding on the case due to bias, TASR wrote.
Another motion concerned Harabin’s alleged improper interference in assigning issues at the Supreme Court. In doing so, he hindered the right of the participants in the court suits for a legal judge, Žitňanská alleged. The Constitutional Court dismissed the motion because the vote was not attended by the qualified majority of judges, SITA reported.
Finally, the Constitutional Court also dismissed the last disciplinary complaint against Harabin, which Žitňanská deemed the most serious, in which she accused Harabin of not sufficiently protecting the interests of the Slovak Republic. This was because Harabin did not appeal against the verdicts in the so-called anti-discrimination lawsuits thanks to which 11 Supreme Court judges received compensation from their employer amounting to €1 million. Harabin, as the representative of the employer, did not appeal against the verdicts when he could have. Žitňanská suggested stripping him of his post for this offence, but the Constitutional Court did not satisfy her complaint.
Constitutional Court President Ivetta Macejková reproached Harabin as well as Justice Minister Tomáš Borec for not attending the session dealing with the motions, SITA reported.
Borec, as the current justice minister, represents the state in the disciplinary cases as he did not withdraw the motions against Harabin when he assumed the ministerial office.
Source: TASR, SITA
Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports
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30. Oct 2013 at 14:00