Harabin dismissed as chairman of the Supreme Court’s Penal College

FORMER Supreme Court chairman Stefan Harabin was recalled on September 14 as the Supreme Court’s Penal College chair at the proposal by Supreme Court chair Daniela Švecová. 

Štefan HarabinŠtefan Harabin (Source: SITA)

She submitted the proposal, because in her opinion it would be of benefit if the penal college has a new chairman, the SITA newswire reported.

The extraordinary meeting of the penal college convened by Švecová featured 15 penal judges of the Supreme Court, including Harabin, who wasn’t allowed to vote, however. Nine out of 14 judges voted for his removal, announced Supreme Court Office director Ivan Solej.

Meanwhile, Harabin’s deputy Libor Duľa has been commissioned to head the college on a temporary basis. Following his dismissal, Harabin has become an ordinary Supreme Court judge.

Harabin in reaction stated that he didn’t care much about the post anyway.

“This post doesn’t mean anything to me – I’ve already been a deputy prime minister, Judicial Council chairman, Supreme Court chairman, justice minister ... It only involves extra work to serve as a college chairman,” Harabin said as cited by the TASR newswire.

Nevertheless, Harabin believes that some judges were intimidated before the vote.

“The Supreme Court will be scrapped, and it will be [Interior Minister Robert] Kaliňák who’ll be deciding instead, based on proposals made by his political inspectorate [a reference to the Interior Ministry’s Inspectorate, which deals with internal affairs in the police - ed. note], which has been described by the UN as a matter of concern,” said Harabin.

Harabin’s penal senate recently acquitted several police officers who’d been sentenced for corruption, stating that they were prosecuted by the Interior Ministry’s Inspectorate, which allegedly wasn’t entitled to carry out the procedure. Nevertheless, a different Supreme Court senate declared that the procedures carried out by the inspectorate were in line with the law.

“It’s good that the Supreme Court is gradually changing, and the judiciary is able to deal with its internal problems,” said Justice Ministry spokesperson Alexandra Donevová.

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