Zilinka: Calling Defendants in Pre-trial Stage ‘Criminals’ Unacceptable

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Prosecutor-general Maros Zilinka (stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, July 13 (TASR) – Calling people facing prosecution in pre-trial stage “criminals” is absolutely unacceptable and a breach of the presumption of innocence principle, Prosecutor-General Maros Zilinka declared on a social network on Wednesday.

Zilinka spoke in response to the criticism voiced by NGOs Let’s Stop Corruption and Via Iuris, and the launch of a petition for the change of paragraph 363.

“Any prosecution of a defendant can be carried out only due to legal reasons and in a lawful way, which is why it’s the duty of the Prosecutor-General to correct unlawful decisions of the law enforcement and thus guarantee legality,” said Zilinka.

The NGOs launched the petition to change the paragraph 363 of the Penal Code, which enables the Prosecutor-General to annul decisions made by other prosecutors or investigators if they are unlawful.

The NGOs called on the Government to change the Prosecutor-General’s powers so as to prevent the paragraph from “helping criminals flee from courts”.