Minister Borec appeals against freeing of policemen accused of bribery

JUSTICE Minister Tomáš Borec has submitted an appeal against a decision that saw the convictions of two police officers  accused of bribery overturned by the Supreme Court.

Justice Minister Tomáš BorecJustice Minister Tomáš Borec (Source: TASR)

Borec told President Andrej Kiska about the move at a meeting on August 18. General Prosecutor Jaromír Čižnár has also submitted an appeal concerning the matter. Pavol Kubík from the ministry's press department explained for the TASR newswire that the Justice Minister has more powers in this area, citing the Criminal Code.  

Borec submitted the appeal this month based on a motion by Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák, TASR wrote. Kaliňák criticised the ruling of the Supreme Court panel led by former Supreme Court and Judicial Council chairman Štefan Harabin.

Harabin’s panel cleared two police officers of bribery charges partly because it was convinced that the activities of the Interior Ministry’s Inspection Service Office, which was in charge of the case, were unlawful.

On the other hand, Kaliňák believes that his Inspection Service is legally authorised to investigate Police Corps members. Another Supreme Court panel chaired by Juraj Kliment described the Inspection Service as lawful.

“The general prosecutor and the interior minister had to put matters in a legal state and the inspection in a legal position immediately in order to minimise the damage, because you’re all going to pay for this,” Harabin reacted on August 19.

“My decision was in compliance with the Strasbourg judiciary,” said Harabin, adding that the European Court for Human Rights had decided that an inspection service coming under the remit of an interior minister is political and not independent.

His panel had earlier freed two former police officers who were charged with bribery on May 29. Čižnár submitted an appeal against this ruling on July 30, reasoning that the Criminal Code and the Criminal Act were breached to the advantage of the two accused.

Read also:Harabin’s panel to be dissolved Read more 

“Trust in the power of justice is essential for a properly functioning legal state,” President Kiska said on August 18. “Unfortunately, there have been repeated cases in which the judges themselves consider the decisions of their colleagues to be questionable or even illegal. It is therefore important that the state does everything in its power so that we can live in a legally credible state.”

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