Und das slowakische Korruptions-Karussell dreht sich und dreht sich und dreht sich…….
Police targeted judges in Žilina due to corruption
Five people have been detained and 13 have been charged.
Altogether 13 people have been charged and five have been detained after a police raid in Žilina.
The National Criminal Agency (NAKA) launched the Plevel (Weeds) Operation on September 14, targeting corruption activities. Several media outlets soon reported that the raid is aimed against judges from Žilina courts and people who have bribed them.
Among those detained is chair of the Žilina Regional Court Eva Kyselová, former judge Pavol Polka and ex-chair of the Žilina District Court Daniel Béreš, the Denník N daily reported.
The trio, together with lawyer Ľuboš Mahdoň and Juraj Filipovič, Béreš’ childhood friend, have been charged with accepting bribes, the daily wrote.
A huge corruption scheme
Polka has been mentioned in the case involving Žilina-based businessman František Tóth. He is a central figure of the corruption scheme within which police have documented dozens of influenced proceedings held at the Žilina courts since 2015. It has been described by several people suspected in other crimes who had been offering bribes at the courts.
Polka is said to be a mediator, arranging verdicts for Tóth, Denník N wrote.
The suspicions of Polka being corrupt have been described in the media for years, but none of them have been proven. On the other hand, Polka was suing everybody who questioned his property.
The change came in early August when the charges were brought against Tóth who, according to Denník N, started collaborating with the prosecutor and the investigator. This also resulted in the September 14 police raid.
Justice minister responds
The latest media reports about the suspected criminal activities of judges prove that the reform of the judiciary is necessary, Justice Minister Mária Kolíková (Za Ľudí) commented.
“Not only to have quicker court proceedings, higher-quality decisions and specialised judges in the main agenda, but also to break ties in the judiciary and set a new environment offering an approach to justice for everybody,” she wrote on Facebook, stressing that it is necessary to carry out the necessary reforms “without any delay, properly and with potential compromises that will not negate the entire reform.”