Judicial Council Chair Mazak and PG Zilinka Don’t Agree on Use of Paragraph 363

Prosecutor-general Maros Zilinka (stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, November 29 (TASR) – Judicial Council Chair Jan Mazak and Prosecutor-General (PG) Maros Zilinka have differing views on the use of paragraph 363 of the Criminal Code, with Mazak stating that the way Zilinka uses it may be unconstitutional and the PG reacting by saying that Mazak doesn’t have the authority to evaluate his work.
Paragraph 363 allows the PG to annul decisions of prosecutors and police investigators if they are in breach of the law.

Mazak claimed in a recent interview with SME daily that the way Zilinka interprets paragraph 363 may be unconstitutional. “It can’t be in accordance with the Constitution that an executive body reviews court decisions a few days after they are issued,” he said, commenting on dropping of charges against ex-head of the Slovak Intelligence Service (SIS) Vladimir Pcolinsky.

Following criticism in the media, Zilinka sent him a letter in which he claimed that it was a legitimate decision of a body in accordance with the law. According to Zilinka, the Judicial Council head doesn’t have the authority to decide whether the PG’s decisions are in accordance with the Constitution. “I very much regret that some of the opinions and statements presented by Judicial Council Chair Mazak regarding the stance of the prosecutor’s office and the PG’s powers not only don’t meet the criterion of objectivity and especially expertise but can’t be perceived in any other way than misleading,” he stated.

On August 31, the Prosecutor-General’s Office used Paragraph 363 to have charges dropped against ex-head of the Slovak Intelligence Service (SIS) Vladimir Pcolinsky, entrepreneur Zoroslav Kollar, co-owner of Penta financial group Jaroslav Hascak, former SIS head Lubomir Arpas and Arpas’s wife. A discussion on amending paragraph 363 is taking place within the governing coalition.