The Finance Ministry is imposing a fine of EUR 33,000 and EUR 1,000 on the Supreme Court and its chairman Stefan Harabin for thwarting an audit for the second time in a week. The news came from Finance Minister Ivan Miklos late yesterday, 2 August.
Miklos said he would send auditors again today, 3 August, and that the ministry would impose fines again if necessary. He reiterated that it was within the Ministry’s jurisdiction to make inspections of public spending, and the Supreme Court was not in a position to decide which institution is to conduct the audit. This comes after Harabin called on the audit to be conducted by the Supreme Audit Office (NKU) instead of the Finance Ministry.
Miklos is determined to make all correspondence with the court public regarding the audit. Harabin has spoken out that Miklos is showing his ignorance of the legal system again, referring to the fine as unlawful and claiming that the Finance Minister is on a campaign to drag down the Court’s budget, using the media as a tool to do it.
The bickering between the Finance Minister and the head of the Supreme Court looks set to continue, but Harabin has been noted for his resilience and ability to get what he wants, so only time will tell how this one will develop.