Fico: Release of Lawyer from Custody Shows How Courts and Police Operate

Smer-SD leader Robert Fico (photo by TASR)
Bratislava, May 17 (TASR) – The Constitutional Court’s decision to release lawyer Martin R. from custody has disqualified both the Specialised Criminal Court as well as the Special Prosecutor’s Office, head of the opposition Smer-SD party Robert Fico stated on Monday, adding that the move “illustrates how the police, prosecution service and courts work these days when it comes to making custody decisions”.

According to Fico, the Constitutional Court’s decision isn’t a breakthrough, but it can be considered a lesson for both the Specialised Criminal Court and the Special Prosecutor’s Office. “The court made a ruling that showed courts and the prosecution service how to boil an egg,” he remarked. At the same time, the former premier claimed that the ruling proves that the conditions for and maximum-allowed length of custody need to be adjusted. In this vein, Fico claimed that various crimes are being over-qualified in order to make it easier to remand the accused in custody.

Martin R., who had been in custody since 2019, was released by the Specialised Criminal Court on May 14. The release was earlier ordered by the Constitutional Court. According to the Constitutional Court, the lawyer’s rights concerning custody were violated. Martin R. was detained along with other 12 people in a crackdown against the Bratislava Takacovci gang in October 2019. He was remanded following the testimony of his former client and plea-bargain seeker, who testified that Martin R. encouraged him not to confess to a crime.