Court overturns govt decision not to appoint European delegated prosecutors

Ljubljana – The Administrative Court has sided with the two prosecutors picked to represent Slovenia on 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, whereby the law requires that it only take note of the result of the selection procedure.

The government had refused to do that for months before finally annulling the selection in late May with the argument that there was an insufficient number of candidates in the selection procedure, a move that prompted the resignation of Lilijana Kozlovič as justice minister.

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

The judgement is final.

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

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

The same message was delivered by Frank Eler and Oštir, who initiated the court proceeding. They expect that the government will now take note of their appointment as soon as possible and notify the EPPO thereof.