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Harabin’s senate returned the case of alleged corrupt judge

The case has been dragging for 12 years.

Štefan Harabin(Source: SITA)

A five-member appellate senate of the Supreme Court, chaired by two-time former court chief (1998-2003, 2009-14) and former justice minister (2006-09) Štefan Harabin, ruled on August 22 in favour of an appeal of former Bratislava judge Igor Škultéty, last sentenced for corruption by the Supreme Court in 2013. The Supreme Court in 2013 confirmed a verdict of the Specialised Criminal Court (STS) in Pezinok (Bratislava Region), which issued a two-year sentence suspended for 30 months against Škultéty for asking for a bribe back in 2002 in order to release an accused thief from custody and be less strict against him during the process. Apart from the suspended prison sentence, Škultéty was due to pay a fine of €3,319 or spend another six months in prison, the TASR newswire wrote.

Harabin’s senate returned the case to STS, scrapping all previous verdicts in the case, as well as those of a lower-instance appellate senate of the Supreme Court.

“I haven't seen so much unlawfulness in my 35-year career than in this single dossier,” Harabin told journalists after leaving the court room. He added that further details of the STS handling of the case will later be released in writing.

The Pezinok court wouldn’t comment on the decision, according to its spokesperson Katarina Kudjaková.

Škultéty’s case has been dealt with by courts since 2004. He was first sentenced by a district court in Malacky (Bratislava Region), with the verdict being scrapped later by the regional court. The case was later assumed by the Supreme Court and STS, with Škultéty being sentenced at first, then exonerated due to the alleged neglect of some evidence and his rights by police, before being sentenced again. Meanwhile, Škultéty claims that he didn’t receive any bribe, while the money (some €2,300) was slipped to him without his knowledge or consent.

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