BRATISLAVA, July 17, (WEBNOVINY) — The Parliamentary Constitutional and Judicial Committee supported a proposal to finally scrap parliamentary immunity from criminal prosecution on Tuesday. All members raised their hands for the draft constitutional bill that was passed in the first reading last month. “I have been saying from the beginning that it is the result of a wide political consensus and I expect no problem; I think that, just as we said, the constitution will undergo an important change and the equal position of MPs and citizens of the Slovak Republic will come to fulfillment;’ said Speaker of Parliament Pavol Paska following the committee’s meeting.
The proposal that made it to second reading in late June was submitted by heads of all parliamentary caucuses and Paska as well. After their immunity is canceled, MPs will only have impunity for their statements made in Parliament and in parliamentary bodies, for their voting on them, even after the end of their mandate. MPs will keep a certain advantage over ordinary citizens. Consent of Parliament will be needed for their arrest and their remand in custody if caught committing an offense will require the consent of the Mandate and Immunity Committee. Otherwise, they would be released immediately. This change will not influence judges of the Constitutional Court and their penal immunity remains.
Parliament scrapped immunity for transgressions already at the end of the previous election term. MPs will lose immunity from criminal prosecution on September 1 after the respective drafts are approved at the next parliamentary session.