Disciplinary Senate Exonerates Harabin in Case of Intemperate Remarks

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Stefan Harabin. (Photo by TASR)

Bratislava, May 13 (TASR) – Supreme Court judge Stefan Harabin appears to have got away with his statements directed against Supreme Court chair Daniela Svecova, as the Disciplinary Senate turned down the proposal for disciplinary proceedings filed by Judicial Council chair Jana Bajankova on Friday.

The decision is not valid yet.

According to the opinion of the five-member senate, Harabin hasn’t committed an infraction that would merit disciplining, when he told the media in 2015 that Svecova is “pitiful” and could “end up in a psychiatric hospital”.

Harabin, 59, also faces four proposals for disciplinary proceedings. Aside from Bajankova, three others were filed against him by Svecova. In her first proposal, Svecova demands Harabin to be reassigned to a lower level court, in the second she calls for a fine and in the third for his debenching.

The former justice minister and Supreme Court chairman criticises the two top representatives of Slovakia’s judiciary for allegedly acting as puppets of the co-governing Smer-SD. Naming them ‘juristitutes’, he urged them to resign immediately.

Harabin’s disputes with Svecova and Bajankova go back to Harabin’s senate decisions last year, leading to the release of certain police officers who were being prosecuted in custody for corruption. Harabin justified the decisions by stating that the Interior Ministry’s internal affairs inspectorate, which investigated the officers, was unlawful.

Meanwhile, Harabin now believes that the incident on Tuesday, with the glass part of a ceiling light falling directly on the seats that were supposed to be occupied by Harabin and his lawyer in the courtroom, wasn’t an accident – and believes that somebody tried to kill him. The primary suspects, in Harabin’s view, are Interior Minister Robert Kalinak, Supreme Court spokesman Boris Urbancik, Svecova, Bajankova and two other staff members of the Supreme Court. Harabin has already formally urged the Prosecutor General’s Office to investigate the incident and provide him with personal protection.

“We can neither confirm nor rule out that the interior minister was going around with a screwdriver at the Supreme Court on Tuesday,” reacted the Interior Ministry’s press department on Friday, adding that no bodyguards will be provided to Harabin.

“The only threat Harabin is facing is from himself. And no bodyguards can protect him from himself,” added the Interior Ministry representative.