The Slovenia Times

Court to Examine Request for Exclusion of Evidence


Franci Matoz, the lawyer of ex-PM Janez Jansa, who is among five defendants in the trial, said on Wednesday that some of the evidence from Austria and Finland had been obtained in violation of the Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights.

The defence demands that the minutes of all interviews and house searches made by the Finnish police and all evidence obtained on this basis are excluded from the trial as they were carried out in violation of the provisions on the protection of human rights.

Matoz added that the defence had also obtained translations of individual orders of the Austrian prosecution, proposing they be eliminated. The evidence obtained on the basis of the orders violates the constitutional provisions of communication privacy, according to him.

Prosecutor Andrej Ferlinc said that the amount of evidence the defence wants to eliminate was a proof of the importance of the evidence. "If there is such a wish, the documents must contain important evidence," he said.

According to Ferlinc, the evidence was been obtained on the basis of the act on international cooperation in criminal matters between the EU member states. He called on the judge to reject the request of the defence.

The prosecutor assessed that the legislation of Austria and Finland certainly "ensures the respect of human rights", adding that each interview in Finland had been attended by a lawyer who had the chance to make remarks about possible violations of human rights.

Matoz meanwhile noted that the key evidence had been obtained before the establishment of the Slovenian-Finnish investigating task force and the corresponding agreement signed on 16 June 2008.

The lawyer believes that the evidence was exported from Slovenia to Finland as the then president of the Corruption Prevention Commission Drago Kos visited the Finnish investigators in April 2008. Kos exported the documentation "because in Slovenia it was not sufficient even for some serious reasons for suspicion," Matoz added.

Jansa, who is accused of complicity in receiving a bribe as part of the EUR 278m purchase of 135 armoured personnel carriers, does not expect that the evidence will be excluded as the Slovenian prosecution and judiciary is led by individuals who "provenly violated human rights under the previous Communist regime".

Jansa added that the suspicion of corruption in the deal had also been reported by the then opposition Social Democrats (SD), now the ruling party. "The repeated claims by the prime minister and the president of Social Democrats, Borut Pahor, that they have nothing with this scandal, are void."

The Commission Protection Office said in a response that the SD was not the party that had reported the suspicion of corruption, adding that it was obliged to keep the name of the party secret.

Similar to the commission, the then president Kos told the STA that the SD was not the whistle-blower.

All defendants attended today's hearing bar army officer Tone Krkovic, who has been accused of accepting a bribe from Patria. According to his lawyer Joze Hribernik, Krkovic is in Russia as he did not know that a hearing would be held today.


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