Court overturns government decision not to appoint EU delegated prosecutors

The decision, released on Tuesday, means that the government must now re-examine the appointment of the two prosecutors, Tanja Frank Eler and Matej Oštir. [vchal/Getty Images]

The Administrative Court has sided with the two prosecutors picked to represent Slovenia in the European Public Prosecutor’s Office as it overturned a government decision to annul the selection procedure.

The decision, released on Tuesday, means that the government must now re-examine the appointment of the two prosecutors, Tanja Frank Eler and Matej Oštir.

The government had refused to do so for months before finally annulling the selection in late May, arguing that there were insufficient candidates in the selection procedure. This move prompted the resignation of Justice Minister Lilijana Kozlovič.

The court held that the government’s decision constituted an “infringement of an absolutely essential requirement in the administrative procedure” in that the reasoning was not explained to the two prosecutors.

The Supreme State Prosecution, which has insisted that the original selection procedure is valid and that the two prosecutors must be appointed, said it was satisfied with the decision.

It expects the government to immediately take note of the selection and forward both candidates to the European Public Prosecutor’s Office, which it said was “an institution that must be completely independent of a government”.

The government, which has been the target of heavy criticism from the EU over the matter, released a brief statement from the justice ministry saying that it would thoroughly examine the judgement.

But in an indication that the government might not change course, it pointed out that the court had not examined the substance of the government decision or the “decisive fact” that the original call for applications had been unsuccessful.

(Sebastijan R. Maček  | STA)

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