SLOVAK WORD OF THE WEEK

Zlyhanie

“THE DISTRICT prosecution seriously failed.” No, this is not a quote by another journalist, human rights activist or opposition MP. This is how the general prosecutor assessed the failure (zlyhanie) of his subordinates from Nitra, where attacks by neo-Nazis remain unsolved and the perpetrators remain free, even four months after the first in a series of beatings was recorded in shocking detail by a city camera.

“THE DISTRICT prosecution seriously failed.” No, this is not a quote by another journalist, human rights activist or opposition MP. This is how the general prosecutor assessed the failure (zlyhanie) of his subordinates from Nitra, where attacks by neo-Nazis remain unsolved and the perpetrators remain free, even four months after the first in a series of beatings was recorded in shocking detail by a city camera.

There is a good side to Jaromír Čižnár’s sudden stroke of honesty. For years, heads of law enforcement agencies were known for denying, if not covering up, any wrongdoing. Seeing someone admit a mistake is in itself a spectacle, not to mention the talk of possible punishment for two prosecutors. This is the way to go.

However, there is also reason for caution. A disciplinary senate ruled that former general prosecutor Dobroslav Trnka should be fired from the prosecution for his role in the Glance House scandal. That too seemed to be a good result. But weeks have gone by and there is no word on when a decision on Trnka’s appeal will be made, and Čižnár has not used his right to suspend his predecessor until a final judgment. That means Trnka still goes to work and may continue to do so for a long time, if not forever.

Čižnár may be sincerely upset. But his long tirade about the wrongdoings of prosecutors also serves Robert Fico, who got him elected, well. A few weeks ahead of the presidential elections, the PM and presidential hopeful needs people to hear that his nominees are trying to do something about the hugely distrusted judiciary. Fico has not only failed to fix it, but made things much worse during his six years in power.

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