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Harabin fails to become member of the Judicial Council

DUŠAN Čimo from the Trnava Regional Court will fill the empty post in the Judicial Council, after being selected by judges across Slovakia, Trend weekly reported on its website on November 26. Former Supreme Court president and ex-chair of the Judicial Council Štefan Harabin, who also ran for the post, allegedly finished third.

DUŠAN Čimo from the Trnava Regional Court will fill the empty post in the Judicial Council, after being selected by judges across Slovakia, Trend weekly reported on its website on November 26. Former Supreme Court president and ex-chair of the Judicial Council Štefan Harabin, who also ran for the post, allegedly finished third.

The results are still unofficial, and should be confirmed later in the day, Trend wrote.

“It would be a signal that [my] colleagues care for the reputation of judiciary,” said Čimo, a long-time critic of Harabin and supporter of reforms to the judiciary, as quoted by Trend.

Čimo has already been serving as the Judicial Council member after being nominated by the parliament in 2012. He was recalled from the post shortly before the September vote for the new Supreme Court president and a new council chair. Instead of him, the Smer MPs picked Ján Slovinský from the district court in Spišská Nová Ves, the Sme daily reported on its website.

The Judicial Council lacked one member as a result of the amendment to the constitution that came into force in September, which divided the post of Supreme Court president and Judicial Council chair. Based on the valid rules, judges nominate nine members of the council, with the parliament, the government and the president appointing three members each. After the changes there was one missing member nominated by the judges.

Besides Čimo and Harabin, judges Martin Bargel and Lenka Praženková also ran for the post. The unofficial results suggest that the run was very close. While Čimo allegedly received 337 votes, second place Praženková got 314 votes, only 23 less. Harabin ended third with 258 votes and Bargel 192, Sme wrote.

Some candidates led an unusual campaign before the November 25 vote. Harabin, for example, sent the judges email in which he criticised the ruling Smer party and Justice Minister Tomáš Borec. He also backed Supreme Court Justice Milan Lipovský against whom Borec recently filed a disciplinary motion. Lipovský’s panel is responsible for releasing two-time murderer Štefan Szabó, who is currently on the run, Trend wrote.

Bargel was, according to Trend, sending an email with unusual business card, using for example his photos from the holidays. Sme also pointed to video published on YouTube where he revealed some personal information about himself, including that he likes adrenaline, skiing and riding motorbikes, Trend wrote.

Also Čimo was making a campaign, sending his colleagues a motivation letter in which he wrote he wants to help the judiciary to regain its trustworthiness, Trend wrote. The weekly reminded about some of his previous activities against Harabin.

Čimo is also one of the laureates of the White Crow award which honours Slovaks who took personal risks as whistleblowers by challenging unethical or corrupt behaviour, as well as those who display civic bravery and integrity.

Source: Trend, Sme

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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