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President of the Supreme Court: The proceedings of Ján Mazák cannot go unnoticed. He asks for responsibility for his statements – Denník N

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“Unjustified damage to the name of the Supreme Court must stop, especially if it comes from the judicial authorities,” urges the president of the court, Ján Šikuta. He thus responds to statements made by the President of the Judicial Council Ján Mazák for more than a year.

He has already apologized for them in the meantime.

Šikuta was outraged by what Mazák had written about the Supreme Court Judge František Mozner in a December 2020 letter to the President of the Consultative Council of European Judges. “He is still suspicious of an attempt to cooperate with those in custody for the murders of Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová,” Mazák wrote in a letter to the council.

Mozner is the Slovak representative in the council, he is also the president of the Association of Judges of Slovakia and the chairman of the criminal college of the Supreme Court.

He turned to the Advisory Council in connection with the reform of the judicial map. Mazák also responded to his criticism by referring to Mozner’s mention in Kočner’s Threeme in connection with the decision on his detention in the summer of 2018 at the Supreme Court.

It’s closed to Mozner, Shikuta is asking for more

Mozner sued Mazák for these statements. His lawsuit was due to be heard for the first time in early December last year. The President of the Judicial Council sent him an apology at the end of November. He writes in it that his statement was inappropriate and it was a “unnecessary personal attack”.

The text of the apology was recently published on the Judicial Council’s website.

“For me personally, the matter in question is closed, and after the apology was published, the lawsuit I filed against Professor Mazák was withdrawn,” Mozner responded to the apology.

Ján Mazák. Photo N – Vladimír Šimíček

There is not enough excuse for the President of the Supreme Court, Shikuta. “An excuse for such unsubstantiated allegations based on speculation can only be satisfactory in relation to the injured judge, if he considers it, but in no way is it capable of repairing the supreme reputation of the Supreme Court as the supreme institution of the general courts,” he said.

It goes on to say that in a decent society, the name of the judge of the Supreme Court, and therefore of the institution as such, is held liable before the European institutions. According to him, Mazák should have known if the consequences of his actions would exist, and he should also be prepared to take proper responsibility for this.

What does Mozner think about inference of responsibility? “Whether any other responsibility should be inferred to Professor Mazák is a question for other persons, or for himself,” the president of the Association of Judges of Slovakia responds.

Mazak does not understand why Shikuta spoke now, a year and a quarter after his remarks. He also reminded that only after his remarks was Mozner elected chairman of the criminal law college. “No insult was felt or talked about,” the chairman of the Judicial Council added in an interview with Denník N.

He thinks Shikuta opened this question probably because he did not support him in his election as President of the Supreme Court, and also because he is critical of him when necessary.

He decided on Kočner’s detention

Kočner wrote about Mozner in Threem mainly with the former state secretary of the Ministry of Justice Monika Jankovská (for Smer). The judge was a member of the senate, which was to decide whether Kočner would go to custody at the end of June 2018 for fraud with the bills of exchange of Markíza television.

He found out from Jankovska if he knew Mozner.

“Sopolig’s nephew. I saved his neck once, “she said a few days before the decision was to be made. Later, he received the answer “Sopoliga solved.” Juraj Sopoliga is the former head of the Association of Judges of Slovakia. He and Mozner refused any influence.

Kočner had 100,000 euros ready for each member of the senate. Unnecessarily. He ended up in custody. A specialized criminal court, and subsequently the Supreme Court, sentenced him to 19 years in prison for fraud with bills of exchange.

He is also charged with the murder of Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová. In this case, the Specialized Criminal Court did not convict him, but the Supreme Court overturned this judgment and returned the case to him again for decision.

He also solved it with Kolíková

Marcela Kosová, a member of the Judicial Council, informed on Wednesday that the President of the Supreme Court is asking to be held accountable to Mazák. Šikuta contacted her himself and informed her that he had communicated about Mazák with the Minister of Justice Mária Kolíková (for SaS), stating that the actions of the President of the Judicial Council are more than bending the law, which no one can afford, and should be inferred against him. responsibility.

In an official statement, Shikuta confirmed this. As well as the fact that the presidents of the highest courts of the European Union are going to let the presidents of the highest courts of the European Union know about their attitude.

He did not find much understanding with Minister Shikut. “I appreciate the position of the President of the Judicial Council on this matter,” she responded.

Supreme Court President Ján Šikuta and Minister of Justice Mária Kolíková. Photo – TASR

As Mazák apologizes, the Minister of Justice sees no reason to be held accountable. It is also questionable what she could do in this regard.

Mazák is the nominee of the National Council on the Judicial Council. He was nominated by SaS MP Alojz Baránik and can only be removed from the council by parliament. “I insist that Ján Mazák is the best chairman of the Judicial Council that Slovakia has ever had, at a great distance. If I can, I will do everything I can to stay in my position for as long as possible, “says Alojz Baránik.

He adds that in the past it was the rule in Slovakia that the worst in the judiciary quickly found themselves in high positions so that they could do evil. According to him, Mazák is “the hope that these times are over”.

Former Judges of the Judicial Council:

  • Stefan Harabin (2001 – 2003),
  • Milan Karabín (2003 – 2008),
  • Stefan Harabin (2009 – 2014),
  • Jana Bajánková (2014 – 2017),
  • Lenka Prazenkova (2017 – 2020),
  • Ján Mazák (2020 – present).

Baránik looks at Mazák’s excuse completely differently than Šikuta, perceiving him as a confirmation of his “unique suitability for such a position”. According to him, the chairman of the Judicial Council wrote the criticized statements “at a time of growing shock of the whole of our society over the knowledge of the state of our judiciary. The state, which has been overcome by arbitrariness, corruption and the ubiquitous dishonesty of its office, built in detail by the first chairman of the Judicial Council, has only been exposed by chance to the whole public. “

He reminded that he did not know that those who called for the removal of Mazák from office had called for the resignation of the President of the Judicial Council or other positions at any time in the past “who had worked actively, thoughtfully and often criminally in the judiciary. only for itself, to consolidate its own power and maintain the disruption of law and morality, thus keeping Slovakia permanently on the tail of credibility among the states of Europe “.

Votes to dismiss him will probably be missing

As Mazák is unlikely to be removed from the Judicial Council, the possibility of losing the chairman is still possible. If he did not give up on his own, at least five members of the Judicial Council would first have to be found to propose his dismissal.

At least ten out of eighteen members would then have to vote for such a proposal. This will most likely not happen.

Votes against Mazák could be collected by the member elected by the judges, Marcela Kosová, who is regularly in opposition to the chairman of the judicial council.

She did not say whether she had enough votes to motion for Mazák’s appeal. “I cannot comment on the possible action of the members of the Judicial Council in this direction,” she wrote.

“I still feel supportive in the judiciary. What Mrs Kosová is doing is legitimate, I do not see anything wrong with that, “Mazák responded, adding that if he did not have the support, he would have no problem ending up in the judiciary. “I consider my position to be a service to this state. It is a position where I felt that I could contribute something, but that I would like to stay on this chair at all costs, so not at all, “he added.

The invitation to resign did not issue

Shikut’s statement on Mazak’s responsibility came shortly after the chairman of the Judicial Council withstood the pressure for his dismissal. After a year, some Bratislava judges returned to the topic of his resignation.

Last January, a vote of no confidence in him became part of an open letter to the Minister of Justice in connection with criticism of the proposal for judicial reform. The letter was signed by more than three hundred judges, but 189 were critical of Mazák.

In the letter, Mazák’s statements “border on disproportionate attacks on the judiciary, contribute to reducing citizens ‘credibility in the judiciary and to manipulating citizens’ legal awareness and public opinion.”

The judges were able to sign the current call for his resignation from 16 January. 103 of them did so. In total, we have almost 1,400 active judges. It is not known who signed the call. The organizers did not publish their names, well informedthat the call is still open.

Diary N asked Shikuta if he supported the challenge. He responded by saying that he had not signed anything.

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