Supreme Court blocks finance ministry audit for fifth time
Supreme Court head Stefan Harabin was obviously not going to give in that easy when it came to finally allowing the Ministry of Finance to conduct an audit at the court, after almost one year of trying.
The Ministry officials strolled into Harabin’s Supreme Court on Friday to start the audit only to leave within an hour as there were “serious legal obstacles” to the audit, referring to the fact that both the Bratislava Regional Court and the Supreme Court had both ruled that the Ministry had no right to conduct the audit.
The auditors had gone to the Supreme Court based on a decision of the Constitutional Court from June, which apart from penalising Harabin with 70% of his salary, judged that Harabin had no right to refuse the ministerial audit. Harabin has appealed against this decision as well.
Harabin is sticking to the decision of the Regional Court in Bratislava that the only body that has jurisdiction to conduct audits at the Supreme Court is the Supreme Audit Office (NKU), even though the ministry only wants to make a financial audit of the court’s EUR 8 million annual budget and not an audit of the court’s activities.
A representative of the Supreme Court is claiming that the court has not received the decision of the Constitutional Court that allows the audit. Confused? Don’t worry, this is how things seem to work in Slovakia, where the interests of the public or the general good take a back seat to personal bickering and the wastage of court time and taxpayers’ money. The saga continues.