Yesterday’s issue of daily Hospodarske Noviny looks at another potential lawsuit against the media by Supreme Court chairman Stefan Harabin, who this time has attacked the STV programme Reporteri, demanding up to EUR 400,000 in compensation from public broadcaster RTVS and a doctor who appeared in the programme.
Harabin’s claim concerns references in the programme that his persecution of judges may have led to the death of two of them, and so he has announced his intention to pursue legal action over the allegations.
The programme shows a debate on the anniversary of the suicide of former Supreme Court vice-chairman Juraj Majchrak, in which Majchrak’s psychiatrist made the comment that “the judiciary is sick and Majchrak caught the disease, just like Laukova who also died due to persecution by Harabin”. Majchrak committed suicide and Laukova had a heart attack.
Harabin, who is also head of the Judicial Council, has had great success in suing the media several times in the past, receiving EUR 100,000 for a caricature from daily Pravda back in 2006, and with other lawsuits he claimed an estimated EUR 181,000 over the space of three years.
It is misleading to suggest that the “Slovak society is twisted” or that Fico has no respect for the law, because the implication is that the system is generally viable as a democracy, although some faults or faulty individuals do exist. Once you look at what’s been happening here as a design, then you surely must recognize that nothing in the way that the Constitution (however flawed) and European Charter of Human Rights are ignored is surprising. The term totalitarian regime is obsolete, because the owners of this state need not have total control, like in the past. They are plenty happy with having the “rights and freedoms” for themselves, and if there is any of that left for the regular guy, that’s fine too, at least we can show how democratic the country is.
Here we go again – an English man pretending to be Slovak.
God shave the queen!!
English man? There are days that I wish I was one!
There are days I feel like one. Then I have a good sleep and I start feeling better.
A. Baranik – Well said Sir! – An astute and accurate comment.
Sorry about the comments posted by our resident village idiot, he’s best ignored!
The feelings are mutual Grandpa.
I guess you are not feeling very well. Sleep can bring you some relief but in the morning you still will be the same old grumpy English man.
The fact this ogre is Chief Justice just goes to show how Fico completely prostituted himself to let this troll creep from Justice Minister to Chief Justice again. All coalitions involve unpleasant, even murky compromises (vide UK 2010) but this showed Fico to have no respect for the law or justice in any form.
Another example of how twisted Slovak society is. Toady, who has more question marks against his name than any other public official, who openly defied the last government and has yet to prove any of the allegations made against him are false, makes a handsome living, not by defending his honour, but by claiming damages for the personal hurt and injury such allegations have caused him.
His method – apply to the same courts he so blatently manipulates, no doubt ensuring that “his man” will preside and rule on the issue accordingly.
What happened to the freedom of the press? No wonder newspapers and news channels are so tame here. Publish or transmit an opinion or comment that upsets elements of the elite and find yourself in a biased court, not addressing the truth but merely a one way street to lining someones pocket.
Toady, like all Public Servants, should be obliged to provide watertight evidence, in an open, unbiased court, that he is not guilty of the allegations made against him. Yes, he has the right to seek compensation but he also has a duty to prove that he deserves it. Toady and his activities are almost certainly why the Slovak judiciary are held in such contempt by the people and the international community. The sooner he and his cronies are replaced the better.