EVEN THOUGH General Prosecutor Jaromír Čižnár dropped charges against former journalist of the Trend weekly Dušan Karolyi on October 1, the police is acting as if he were still being prosecuted, the Etrend.sk website reported on October 15. They allegedly invited him to a hearing.
In August 2013, Karolyi wrote about the case of former employee of the Office for Fight against Organised Crime (ÚBOK) Jaroslav Dujava, who was suspected of abusing his powers as a public official. According to Karolyi, Dujava allegedly broke the law when using frivolous and excessive force to detain Alexander Ducár, one of the owners of Kompit, a company possessing lucrative real estate in Prešov.
Dujava filed a criminal complaint against an unknown offender for libel, demanding compensation in the sum exceeding €33,000. He did that even though the journalist did not use his full name, but an abbreviation: “Jaroslav D.”, according to Mediálne.sk, a media news site.
Karolyi filed a complaint against his prosecution, calling it “absurd”.
The case met with wide criticism from OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović, media freedom watchdog International Press Institute (IPI) and several Slovak public figures.
After Mediálne.sk wrote about the case and the petition supporting the journalist was launched, the General Prosecutor’s Office asked for Karolyi’s file and subsequently dropped the charges, Etrend.sk wrote.
Despite this development, investigator Anton Marcinčin wrote in a letter sent to Karolyi on October 9 that “in the criminal affair of Dušan Karolyi prosecuted for libel” the police will hear him, the damaged in the case, and another two witnesses on October 29, as reported by Etrend.sk.
Prešov regional police spokesperson Daniel Džobaník said the investigator does not know about dropping the charges. When asked whether they plan to continue with the criminal prosecution, he answered that the question is premature.
“The instruction of the General Prosecutor’s Office is valid,” its spokesperson Andrea Predajňová told Etrend.sk.
This means that the investigator should do two things: halt the criminal prosecution, or continue with it, but with Karolyi being heard only as a witness, the website wrote.
When Mediálne.sk sent questions to the General Prosecutor’s Office, it started to deal with the issue again. The prosecutor’s office in Prešov, which supervises the case, will allegedly deliver the decision of the general prosecutor to stop the prosecution of the journalist directly to the police.
Pavol Múdry of IPI commented on the case, saying this “proves about the state of our criminal bodies, that some of them obviously live their own life”.
“I think that the actions of some units should be checked by the Police Corps president and also by the general prosecutor,” Múdry told Etrend.sk.
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
15. Oct 2014 at 14:00