Bratislava, April 3 (TASR) – President Andrej Kiska has signed into law a constitutional bill that empowers Parliament to revoke presidential amnesties and pardons that are at odds with the principles of the democratic rule of law, TASR learnt on Monday.
The House voted last Thursday to approve the coalition-sponsored amendment.
“After almost 20 years, the immoral [Vladimir] Meciar amnesties are coming to a close. I’d like to give credit to the MPs for agreeing, notwithstanding the various differences of opinion between them, on the need to amend the Constitution. I’d also like to voice my appreciation for the great support from the public, experts and all those who exerted public pressure in favour of scrapping the amnesties,” said Kiska.
Under the amendment, any revocation of amnesties or pardons must be evaluated within 60 days by the Constitutional Court, which will be tasked with either confirming or rejecting Parliament’s decision. If the court fails to reach a verdict within the set deadline, the House’s decision will stand.
After the legislation is published in the Collection of Laws, at least 30 lawmakers must submit a motion to annul Meciar’s amnesties, which must be passed with at least 90 votes. Furthermore, Parliament also decided via an amending proposal by the Opposition that actions that are subject to amnesties won’t fall under the statute of limitations.
Most-Hid party chairman Bela Bugar has said that a resolution that repeals Meciar’s amnesties and the pardon issued by former president Michal Kovac [1993-98] to his own son is ready. “I’ve seen a cleaned version of that resolution. It’s a Government proposal, but we’ll discuss a further course of action. We’re not narrow-minded, we care about the outcome. It must be to the benefit of justice,” said Bugar.
Meciar’s amnesties relate to the 1995 kidnapping of then president Michal Kovac’s son Michal Kovac Jr. and the murder in 1996 of Robert Remias, who served as a contact for a key witness of the abduction. The amnesties issued by Meciar as acting president in 1998 also concern a thwarted referendum of 1997.