Disciplinary senate acquits controversial judge, again

It is already the third verdict issued in favour of ex-Supreme Court president Štefan Harabin.

Štefan HarabinŠtefan Harabin (Source: Sme)

Supreme Court Judge Štefan Harabin did not violate the disciplinary rules with his statements about the court’s President Daniela Švecová.

This stems from a decision of the disciplinary senate that dismissed the proposal of the Judicial Council chair Jana Bajánková, who asked to discipline Harabin with a financial sanction.

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It is already the second decision of the three-member senate led by Trenčín court judge Juraj Florovič issued in Harabin’s favour. It ruled the same already in May 2016, but the appellate senate ordered the senate to deal with the case again in December 2016. The decision is not valid yet as both participants can appeal it, the TASR newswire reported.

Read also: Controversial judge succeeds in another disciplinary proceeding Read more 

The disciplinary senate was dealing with Harabin’s statements from September 2015, when he said Švecová was following public opinion and instructions of politicians and that she may have ended up in psychiatry. The senate tried to find out what led Harabin to such criticism, however, it doubted objective reasons for it, as reported by TASR.

The April 18 proceeding lasted more than seven hours and the atmosphere was very tense. The senate heard Švecová who explained that she perceived the statements as a serious interference into her personal rights and that they have caused her serious trouble. There was no reason for being so disrespectful to the Supreme Court president, she added, as reported by TASR.

Harabin welcomed the senate’s decisions, claiming that court independence won in this case. He had told the disciplinary senate that he had felt like he was being bullied by Švecová due to his own senate’s rulings that had freed police officers convicted of corruption, TASR wrote.

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Švecová and Bajánková have submitted altogether six motions to the disciplinary senate concerning Harabin. He has already succeeded in three proceedings, but no verdict is yet valid.

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