Leaked transcripts put shadow on justice system

Topical issue

Leaked transcripts put shadow on justice system

07. 10. 2019 14:49

Self-correcting mechanisms in the judiciary have failed, said the Slovak Public ombudswoman Mária Patakyová. She thus reacted to the alleged leaked chat transcripts between Monika Jankovská, former deputy Justice Minister and entrepreneur Marián Kočner, suspected of ordering the murder of journalist Ján Kuciak. "I'm ready to file a motion to launch disciplinary proceedings against the judges in the question of the interests of protecting the public's right to fair and unbiased court processes," said the ombudswoman.

The speaker of Parliament Andrej Danko said that judges have their autonomy and should take action immediately, if there are any suspicions against judges. Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini also said that current self-regulating mechanisms in judiciary seem to be failing. According to him, judges in Slovakia should be able to force out from their ranks "black sheep", while those who appear surrounded by certain doubts of the public should step down from the bench until their names are cleansed. Moreover, on Monday, Justice Minister Gábor Gál said that he would file a proposal for disciplinary procedure against Jankovská.

A transcript of communications published by the Dennik N daily indicated that Jankovská and Kočner had attempted to influence judges. "Tell her to do what she has to do, or else she'll end up like Kuciak" - is one of the messages allegedly exchanged between them. Jankovská, a nominee of the largest governing SMER-SD party rejects the authenticity of this communication. The party's chair and former PM Robert Fico called the release of the information a jihad against SMER-SD.

According to a survey conducted by the Focus agency, 51% Slovaks find the transcripts concerning because they indicate that politicians are influenced by people from backstage. 22% of the respondents do not find the information trustworthy and do not believe that Kočner would have the power to influence politicians. 23% have not noticed the communication and the rest could not give an answer.

The survey was conducted in the first half of September at the sample of over 1,000 respondents.

Mojmir Prochazka, Photo: TASR

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