Former judge appeals suspended sentence for bribery

After years of investigation, prosecution and court trials, the Specialised Court in Banská Bystrica confirmed the suspended sentence for a former Bratislava judge. However, the verdict is not effective yet.

Courtroom, illustrative stock photoCourtroom, illustrative stock photo (Source: Sme)

Former Bratislava-based judge, Igor Š., was convicted of accepting a bribe and sentenced to two years’ suspended sentence, a fine of €2,320, and a ban on engaging in his profession for four years, the Pravda daily wrote on January 14.

He was convicted of having required 100,000 Slovak crowns (about €3,300) from university lecturer Jozef K. to give a milder sentence to his son for a robbery in a local tobacco shop/news kiosk. Later, the judge accepted also a smaller amount, 70,000 crowns (i.e. about €2,300).

The verdict is not effective, however, as the defendant appealed it.

Originally, Igor Š. was sentenced in November 2013, receiving two years’ sentence suspended to 30 months, a fine of €3,319 and a ban on working in his profession for five years. However, he filed an extraordinary appeal and the Supreme Court panel, led by Štefan Harabin, obliged his appeal in August 2016, abolishing the previous decision and ordering the Specialised Court to deal again with the case and decide, the SITA newswire wrote.

In the new trial, the court heard the key witness, Jozef K., about his relation towards police and Interior Ministry (as at the time of the crime he worked at the Law Faculty in Bratislava). Jozef K. said he has had no relation whatsoever with them, adding that in the years 2004 to 2011, he was lecturing at the Police Corps Academy.

The prosecutor of the Special Prosecutor’s Office deemed the verdict just and lawful. Igor Š. got a milder sentence than the previous one, due to the jurisprudence of the European Court for Human Rights. The judge perfectly managed the comments of the appellate panel of the Supreme Court, according to the prosecutor.

The former judge claimed innocence at the trial and asked to be acquitted. He has not communicated with the media before or after the trial, SITA wrote.

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