ŠTEFAN Harabin, former chair of the Supreme Court and the Judicial Council, will run for the last empty post in the Judicial Council. His candidacy was submitted by 10 judges of the Supreme Court. His rival in the election, which will take place on November 25, will be Dušan Čimo, the SITA newswire reported. Čimo was dismissed from the council by parliament shortly before September vote of new Supreme Court head.
According to the Slovak constitution, the Judicial Council has 18 members, but currently has only 17. The last place in the Judicial Council became empty in September after the amendment to the constitution separating the posts of Supreme Court president and Judicial Council chair, which was until then held by one person, came into force. This double function was held by Harabin until June.
“I long resisted the appeals from judges urging me to run,” Harabin told the TASR newswire. “It has become nothing but a political consultative body of Justice Minister Tomáš Borec.”
Harabin said that the main reason why he runs are the arguments of judges who say there is a high risk of voting manipulation and fraud in the police screening of judges.
“When, for instance, flagrant election fraud during the election of the Supreme Court chair occurred, nobody has wanted to investigate,” Harabin said, as quoted by TASR, reiterating earlier remarks that something untoward had taken place in the election of Daniela Švecová last month – a claim that has already been dismissed by Justice Ministry officials.
Katarína Javorčíková, president of the For an Open Judiciary initiative who confirmed Čimo’s candidacy, said that the November election will be kind of “litmus test” showing the state of the Slovak judiciary.
“It will be a fight of principles,” Javorčíková said, as quoted by SITA. “We do not lobby, we do not speculate.”
Source: SITA, TASR
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
9. Oct 2014 at 10:00