A final seal has been put on the ongoing feud between finance minister Ivan Miklos and Supreme Court chairman Stefan Harabin after the appeals senate of the Supreme Court itself ruled that the Ministry of Finance has no right to audit Harabin’s court.
Miklos’ ministry had several attempts to audit the Supreme Court thwarted by Harbin last year, and an initial first instance verdict made by the Regional Court of Bratislava in January judged that an audit of the Supreme Court was not the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Finance.
Now the Supreme Court has overruled an appeal made by Miklos against the Regional Court’s decision, as could be expected, give the control that Stefan Harbin has over its workings. In its justification, the Supreme Court stated: “The Supreme Court is not and cannot be classed as a public authority as it is the supreme judicial body”. As it is not classed as a public authority, control over it therefore does not fall to the Ministry of Finance.
Following the ruling, Supreme Court chairman Stefan Harabin said he would now expect finance minister Ivan Miklos and also justice minister Lucia Zitnanska to resign from their posts. Harabin says he expects them to accept full moral and ethical responsibility for their actions.
Both the REgional Court and now the appeals senate of the Supreme Court both agree that the authority responsible for auditing the Supreme Court is the Supreme Audit Office.
In response to the verdict, Ivan Miklos noted that it was hardly surprising for him as the Supreme Court essentially ruled about itself. “What verdict did you expect?” he retorted to journalists.