Last week was big week for 363

If there is a numerical answer to everything, white-collar criminals hope it is that.

Robert Fico no longer faces charges.Robert Fico no longer faces charges. (Source: TASR)

Welcome to your weekly commentary and overview of news from Slovakia. Developments in Slovakia’s biggest corruption scandals. Matovič sends ambiguous signals over Hungary. The Foreigners’ Police have a lot on their hands with migrants on the Czech-Slovak border, but also report some good news for foreigners applying to stay in Slovakia. And if you’ve been sick recently, you’re not alone.

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Žilinka steals the show

It was one of those weeks when a single number, “363”, was uttered with growing frequency in Slovakia. Though it is mostly accompanied by question marks, exclamation marks and even obscenities, General Prosecutor Maroš Žilinka seems determined to use 363 as his answer to every dilemma, no matter how controversial the circumstances.

Paragraph 363 of the Penal Code grants the general prosecutor the exclusive power to scrap any decision by the police or other prosecutors during pre-trial proceedings (this includes the power to completely cancel a criminal prosecution), if he determines that a law has been violated. He can do this at any point before an indictment is filed to a court, i.e. before the formal start of a trial. There is no way to appeal such a move, though the police can bring new charges if they find new evidence.

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