Last week’s fatal shooting of prominent lawyer Ernest Valko has led the Slovak Bar Association (SAK) to demand greater protection from the authorities and the government so that they can conduct their profession without fear.
SAK claims that this tragedy shows how lawyers could very well feel threatened in these times. In a statement it notes: “The state is obliged to ensure that lawyers can do their job freely, independently and without worrying about their lives”. It is therefore demanding that more be done by the government to ensure protection for lawyers and their clients, with the possibility of them being classed as protected persons.
The association is monitoring the murder investigation carefully and hoping for a swift resolution and the punishment of the perpetrators of this hideous crime. It says Valko’s death is more than a personal tragedy as it has greater reaching consequences for society as a whole.
A statement of the bar association provided to news wire TASR states that “This violent crime may be a reflection of the inappropriate functioning of the judicial system, as well as an attempt to influence the results of specific court cases. It is essential that appropriate protection be granted to every lawyer who objectively feels under threat. Otherwise, the basic right of people to legal assistance will be endangered”.