Fico: Amendment to the Criminal Code will correct the mistakes of the previous government

  • 05. März 2009

By backing an amendment to the Criminal Code, the government says it is reacting to a problem which arose in the Slovak criminal system in 2005 following re-codification of the criminal law.

„We are only correcting the mistakes the previous Justice Minister made,“ Prime Minister Robert Fico said during a March 4 press conference. He described the relevant part of the Criminal Code, passed under the then-justice minister, Daniel Lipšic, as ‚a complete mess‘.

Fico added that the government rejects a provision passed under Lipšic, who is currently deputy chairman of the Christian-Democratic Movement (KDH), an opposition party. „This is an anti-constitutional provision as he [Lipšic] proposed unlimited and infinite [pre-trial] custody,“ Fico noted.

The proposed amendment would allow pre-trial custody of up to four years for suspects accused of serious crimes which qualify for jail sentences of 25 years to life.

Pre-trial custody could be extended for a further one year (i.e. to five years in total) with the approval of a court. „Certain guarantees must be determined so that someone does not spend ten or twelve years in custody as Mr. Lipšic imagined,“ the prime minister concluded.

The government also agreed to a shortened legislative proceeding to consider the amendment to the Criminal Code. MPs will therefore debate the amendment after its first reading, during their March meeting starting on March 10, 2009.

(Source: TASR; 04.03.2009)
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