After several days of heated discussions, the Slovak legislature approved an amendment to the Slovak Criminal Code on Thursday evening, as expected, MTI reported.
The opposition boycotted the vote on the proposal, which includes abolishing the so-called special prosecutor’s office and easing some penalties.
The amendment to the Criminal Code was approved by the Bratislava government in December last year on the grounds that some provisions of the Criminal Code should be made “more humane” and the Penal Code should be abolished. The latter was justified by the fact that the institution, created only a few years ago, lies outside the system of the Slovak Prosecutor General's Office, as well as the need to distance the Prosecutor General's Office from the possibility of political influence.
Regarding the latter, the authors of the criticism claim that it was used by the ruling Liberals until the snap elections last September to politically disable the incumbent ruling parties. The Unified Socialist Party was subjected to much criticism from several quarters, and the Constitutional Court invalidated many of its measures.
The process of amending the Penal Code was accompanied by a series of anti-government demonstrations in many cities. The judicial reform and its approval process have been repeatedly criticized by President Zuzana Čaputová, who before her election as President of the Republic held one of the leadership positions of the current largest parliamentary opposition party, the Progressive Liberal Party of Slovakia.
This reform was criticized by the US Embassy in Bratislava, as well as by the European Parliament in a resolution issued a few weeks ago: according to the latter, the reform proposal “raises concerns about the state of governance of the country.” Law in Slovakia.” In response to the latest decision, the Slovak Foreign Ministry categorically rejected the European Parliament’s interference in internal political events in Slovakia.
During the parliamentary debate on the reform, opposition parties presented dozens of amendment proposals and prolonged the debate with various obstruction methods. In the opposition's argument, he largely pointed to the fact that changes in criminal law, in their opinion, protect the interests of criminals.
a The teacher saysthat the cases handled by the ÚSB will be handed over to the regional prosecutors’ offices, the investigation of crimes under the jurisdiction of the Special Criminal Court will be the responsibility of the district prosecutor’s offices, and the supervision of their activities will be the responsibility of the Public Prosecution Office.
The amendment also adjusts the limits of compensation for crimes against property, and the statute of limitations for many acts is shortened.
He described the head of the Ministry of Justice, who proposed the amendment, as a demagogue and said that the changes were aimed at strengthening the protection of people's constitutional and fundamental human rights, which was necessary because “the criminal law had been misused for political purposes” during the previous period. period of government.
Government politicians have repeatedly expressed the opinion that opposition parties are only using the debate on reform to create the public mood and for their election campaigns ahead of the presidential and European Parliament elections in the spring.