SaS: Gal’s Bill on Cleansing Judiciary Woefully Insufficient

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Justice Minister Gabor Gal (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, October 24 (TASR) – The opposition Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party on Friday expressed its disappointment with Justice Minister Gabor Gal’s (Most-Hid) motion that should cleanse the judiciary, stating that the minister has presented very few changes.

According to Gal, the motion, which still hasn’t been addressed in Parliament, reads that if the justice minister or the Supreme Court head files a criminal complaint over an intentional criminal act against a specific judge, they can ask the Judicial Council to temporarily suspend the judge in question. If it’s someone else that files the criminal complaint, the consequences at the Judicial Council won’t be the same, however. Furthermore, if a judge’s activities in society are questionable, the Judicial Council will also be eligible to suspend them.

“We welcome any proposals that aim to cleanse our judiciary, however, we have to say that if this is supposed to be the major proposal, it’s woefully insufficient to bring about a real change,” stated SaS MP Alojz Baranik.

A similar scheme is proposed for prosecutors. “On the one hand the prosecutor-general will be the authorised submitter of proposals and, on the other, the body to have the final say is to be the Council of Prosecutors,” claimed the minister.

On Monday (October 21), Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini (Smer-SD) convened a round table with representatives of the police, Judicial Council, Prosecutor-General’s Office, Justice Minister Gabor Gal and Interior Minister Denisa Sakova (Smer-SD) to seek ways of purging the judiciary of corruption. The legislation comes in response to several corruption cases, for instance, suspicions that former Justice Ministry state secretary and judge Monika Jankovska corrupted judges presiding over the TV Markiza promissory notes case while the case was a civil law dispute.