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Čentéš’ case closer to the end

AFTER three years, the Constitutional Court (CC) is closer to the decision on the complaint of Jozef Čentéš whom the then-president Ivan Gašparovič refused to appoint to the General Prosecutor post, even though he was lawfully elected to the post.

AFTER three years, the Constitutional Court (CC) is closer to the decision on the complaint of Jozef Čentéš whom the then-president Ivan Gašparovič refused to appoint to the General Prosecutor post, even though he was lawfully elected to the post.

The court will deal with the complaint on October 23 and it is possible that it will issue a verdict over the case.

The controversy began when the term of the previous general prosecutor, Dobroslav Trnka, expired in February 2011, but it took until June of that year for parliament to elect Čentéš as his replacement. 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.

Currently, the CC subpoenaed as witnesses MP Igor Matovič, Prosecutor Tibor Šumichrast and an employee of the property criminality department of the PG Office. They will probably again testify about an incident from July 2011 involving Matovič of the Ordinary People faction, according to the Sme daily.

Matovič had to testify twice at the prosecutor’s office in a case overseen by Čentéš because the record of his first testimony was deleted from the office computer and the hard copy was shredded. Čentéš said that the shredding of the document was human error. However, Gašparovič in his letter says that Čentéš did not “display enough responsibility” during the shredding incident. Both Matovič and Šumichrast supported Čentéš’ version of events.

Čentéš sees his future career in education and will run for the post of rector at Comenius University (UK). The academic community has to propose his candidacy and Čentéš says that pedagogues and students from several faculties have addressed him. If he wins the election to the post on November 11, Čentéš will focus solely on that job, he told Sme.

“I’ve been operating at the university for more than 15 years therefore I am not indifferent about its future,” Čentéš said, as quoted by Sme.

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