Judge: Constitutional Court is an option to scrap amnesties

The parliament has tried to scrap the amnesties that Mečiar issued during his brief term as acting president eight times, but has never succeeded.

Vladimír MečiarVladimír Mečiar (Source: Sme - Tomáš Benedikovič)

The parliament has repeatedly failed to scrap the amnesties of Vladimír Mečiar and it is hard to expect it to do so in the future, but the Constitutional Court could do so, says judge of the Bratislava Regional Court Peter Šamko.

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Šamko’s name appeared in the press earlier this year, in August, when he publicly spoke out against the accusation of special prosecutor Vasil Špirko, who was overseeing the Bašternák case, of abusing his powers. The police later scrapped the accusation.

Read also: Judge speaks up against the prosecution of prosecutor Read more 

Šamko started looking into the possibilities to scrap the blanket amnesties that former prime minister Vladimír Mečiar issued in connection with the abduction of the former president’s son and the marred referendum in the early 1990s, after President Andrej Kiska called for a public discussion to be opened on this issue.

The parliament has tried to scrap the amnesties that Mečiar issued during his brief term as acting president eight times, voting draft constitutional law to that effect, but has never succeeded to do so. Prime Minister Robert Fico has repeatedly stated his opinion against such an option, saying he considers it a legal non-sense.

Read also: Mečiar amnesties condemned, but still effective Read more 

Judge Šamko too arrived at the conclusion that the amnesties cannot be scrapped through a constitutional law, according to the Sme daily.

“The supporters of the scrapping of Mečiar amnesties should thus not press the parliament to make such a decision that is not right, and they should look for other ways to achieve their aim,” the daily quotes the judge’s written opinion.

He believes only the Constitutional Court can scrap the amnesties, acting upon a motion of the president or a group of MPs. He refers to the legal opinion of Czech constitutional judges Ivana Janů and Pavel Rychetský.

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President’s advisor and former constitutional judge Ján Mazák, however, told the daily that the Slovak Constitutional Court, unlike the Czech one, can only assess whether laws are in line with the Constitution and with international treaties and cannot scrap laws, such as those that concern the amnesties.

“Neither the Constitution nor the law on Constitutional Court recognises such type of proceeding,” Mazák said as quoted by Sme.

Yet Mazák admits that the MPs, the government, or the general prosecutor could submit a motion to have the amnesties assessed.

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