Reacting to his statements in a magazine defaming state officials and the judiciary, Supreme Court chairperson Daniela Švecová filed yet another disciplinary motion against her predecessor – Supreme Court judge, former justice minister, former chair of the Supreme Court and Judicial Council, Štefan Harabin – due to what she believes was his gross violation of duties as a judge via comments in an interview for the Zem a Vek magazine.
“The statements don't have a rational foundation and simply aren't based on truth,” she said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. “I believe that such statements shouldn't be part of a judge's rhetoric, not to mention the way in which it was presented,” she said, adding that she had previously issued a directive stating judges can make comments but she wants to be notified of any interviews in advance in order to prevent any disputes from emerging. Nonetheless, Harabin has not respected the directive, she complained.
Harabin becoming a media star?
At a press conference, she read out several sections of Harabin's controversial interview, in which, for example, he stated that President Andrej Kiska “thinks in the way of usury interests” [a reference to Kiska's erstwhile involvement with the money-lending business - ed. note], “behaves like a Gitmo director” and acts as a “war-monger” in international relations. Harabin also lambasted Švecová in the interview, claiming that it is in fact Interior Minister Robert Kalinak who is governing the Supreme Court instead of her.
The former justice minister has appeared in the media rather frequently as of late. He has even got his own radio show. “If he was using the energy spent on these things for judicial activities instead, the penal college would perhaps be even better off than it currently is,” commented Švecová, adding that Harabin was not involved in any tangible activity at the Supreme Court in January.
“The chairperson is obviously mentally ill,” Harabin reacted, according to TASR. “She's on medication, so don't be surprised. She prosecutes me for freedom of speech, in the sense of the European treaty. Shall I be prosecuted for pointing to illegal behaviour of constitutional officials, for writing that Mr. Fico, Mr. Kiska and MPs violate constitution?” he asked, refusing her proposal.
There have been five motions for disciplinary proceedings filed previously against Harabin, four by Švecová and one by Judicial Council chairperson Jana Bajánková. None of them has been concluded. The first case concerns Harabin releasing a duly sentenced sexual delinquent but, as Švecová filed the motion too late, no sentence can be pronounced. The case will still be dealt with as requested by Harabin, who allegedly wants to clear his reputation .
2. Mar 2017 at 13:10 | Compiled by Spectator staff