The president of Slovakia will try to block the abolition of the specialized prosecutor's office planned by the new government

Photo: EPA-EFE / NEIL HALL

Slovak President Zuzana Czaputova said today that she will try to block the new government's plan to return the prosecution of serious crimes from national to regional through a presidential veto or an appeal to the Constitutional Court.

Chaputova said that, in her opinion, the planned changes are contrary to the principle of the rule of law and pointed out that the European Commission also expressed concern about the government's haste with these measures.

The government of Prime Minister Robert Fizo, who came to power for the fourth time, plans to amend the criminal law, which will end the existence of the special prosecutor's office, which deals with serious crimes such as corruption and organized crime, from mid-January.

The competence to prosecute those crimes would be returned to the regional level, that is, to the regional prosecutor's offices that have not dealt with those crimes in the last 20 years.

Fico's government today adopted the draft amendments to the law and turned it into a legal proposal, which now needs to be approved by the parliament and the president of the country.

Fico's coalition has a majority in parliament.

Caputova can veto it, but that would likely only delay the law's passage, as the ruling coalition could override her veto with a simple majority in the next vote.

It is unclear how Chaputova intends to challenge the constitutionality of the proposed law.

The opposition plans to hold a protest rally in Slovakia's capital, Bratislava, on Tuesday.

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