President Appoints Zilinka as Prosecutor-General

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New PG Maros Zilinka and President Zuzana Caputova (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, December 10 (TASR) – Maros Zilinka has become the new prosecutor-general after President Zuzana Caputova appointed him to the post on Thursday.

A former deputy interior minister (for Daniel Lipsic in 2010-12), Zilinka has until now served as director of the Special Prosecutor’s Office’s section for investigating economic crimes. He’s supervised some prominent cases, including the Drukos non-banking institution fraud, which resulted in the jailing of the company’s owner Frantisek Mojzis, and the Technopol fraud case with the alleged involvement of Marian K.

Zilinka was elected in a public vote in Parliament on December 4 with the votes of 132 MPs of the 147 present.

The PG’s Office had been without a chief for several months. Former PG Jaromir Ciznar’s seven-year term expired in July. The law stipulates that he should have retained the post until a new PG was elected, but Ciznar asked President Caputova to relieve him from the post soon after his term expired.

Caputova in a speech delivered on the occasion of Zilinka’s appointment as PG expressed hope that the new era for the PG’s Office will begin at the same time.

Caputova expects Zilinka to rehabilitate the prosecution service and remove elements of an institutionalised negative culture from it. According to her, the prosecution service should be exposed to an adequate level of public control. She believes that the PG should be impartial and not yield to the influences of the people surrounding him.

The head of the state said that since the middle of the 1990s, when the prosecution service was formed as an authority in an independent country, it has been acting as a monocratic and relatively closed institution. “As an institution that has functioned as a state within a state in some cases,” noted Caputova, adding that the consequences or this are visible even today. She pointed to police operations such as Purgatory, Judas and the Mills of God, which have resulted not only in the detention of judges and senior police officers, but also of officials from the prosecution service.

According to Caputova, the prosecution service has often failed in its role to ensure that the law applies equally to everyone. Influential people were given special treatment thanks to their posts and connections. “This era not only has to end; it must result in consequences so that it can never be repeated,” stressed the president.

Caputova called on the new PG to make use of all options to assert institutional openness in the prosecution office so that it will be subject to appropriate public scrutiny. “I believe that this time you’ll manage to deal with potential internal resistance,” she said.