The Slovenia Times

Ljubljana Mayor Janković acquitted in Mercator land deal trial


This is the first of several criminal cases involving Janković to make it to trial.

The case involved a 2005 land deal for a Mercator shopping centre in the town of Niš; the deal fell through and the centre was later built at a different location.

While Janković and former Mercator management board member Stanislav Brodnjak were acquitted, the Ljubljana District Court sentenced to a year and a half suspended sentence Boris Milevoj, the boss of a Cyprus-based company involved in the deal.

The Ljubljana District Court ruled that Milevoj, whose company was tasked with acquiring the construction permit for the centre, was accessory to abuse of office, as he knew the deal would fall through. Milevoj's lawyer already said he would challenge the decision.

The prosecutor claimed that the three men defrauded Mercator of EUR 100,000 through a series of fictional contracts.

Janković and Brodnjak, although aware that the services would never be carried out, agreed that Mercator pay the bills issued by Milevoj's company, the prosecution said.

The court said that the prosecutor failed to present sufficient proof that Janković and Brodnjak contributed considerably to abuse of allegedly office committed by Mitja Marinšek, Janković's deputy, who has been excluded from the trial last year due to ill health.

Marinšek was the one who signed the services contract with Milevoj's company.

The prosecutor proposed a year and a half prison sentence for Janković and Milevoj; the proposed sentence for Brodnjak was a suspended sentence of a year and a half.

Janković reiterated after the trial that he had done nothing wrong, underlining that the contract signed by Milevoj and Marinšek was good for the retailer and that the EUR 100,000 did not simply vanish. He could however not say where the money ended up.

He accused the prosecutor of "bullying me for eight years" and said that the trial was nothing but fodder for the media.

If the ruling becomes final, a part of the fees will be covered by the taxpayers and Janković's lawyer estimates that court expenses amounted to between five and ten thousand euros.


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