The Slovenia Times

Total Fiasco of Slovenian Judicial System


The highest sentence, 10 years, was handed to Anes Selman, who was accused of selling 450 kilos of cocaine in Italy in 2007 and 2008.

Marko Bublič and Dejan Zupan, responsible for renting apartments and storing drugs, got eight and seven years respectively, and Sandra Udrih, also involved in logistics, four years.

The acquittal of the majority of the defendants comes after one of the most closely watched trials in the country on record, which lasted over a year and a half, saw an unexpected turn of events two weeks ago, as he panel of judges threw out wiretapping evidence that it says was obtained unlawfully.

Remaining without the evidence collected in Slovenia and Serbia, the prosecution had to build on evidence gathered in Italy and Uruguay, especially on testimony by turncoat Francesco Petrelli.

Presiding judge Gorazd Fabjančič explained that the verdict was based on evidence collected in Italy, where police seized three large shipments of cocaine whose transport and storage was believed the responsibility Bublič and Zupan, while Udrih rented vehicles and obtained false documents.

Selman helped with storage and was responsible for the money transfer, the judge said. While the prosecution calculated on the basis of Petrelli's testimony that Selman had sold him 450 kilos of cocaine, the court concluded that Selman was guilty but that the amount of the drugs could not be determined.

The four defendants convicted were also the four that remained in custody after the majority of the defendants were released two weeks ago in face of the rejected evidence.

They were however set free today pending a final verdict, with Fabjančič explaining the court had no other option since the prosecution failed to propose an extension of custody in its closing statement. The prosecution claims it had already done so in the indictment.

Meanwhile, the prosecution, who had demanded 19 years and 10 months for Tošić, between 15-17 years for the top operatives and 2-5 years for minor helpers, insists that all the evidence was legitimate and announced an appeal.

Prosecutor Blanka Žgajnar said the verdict had been expected given the exclusion of key evidence and that the prosecution was happy with the guilty verdict but not with the sentences.

Tosić's lawyer said that not the defendants but the rule of rule had won with today's verdict. He feels that the court's message is not that one will not be found guilty if breaking the law but that "that you can expect not to be found guilty in the absence of evidence that you broke the law".

Selman's lawyer is not happy with the verdict and announced and appeal, although he is content that his client has been released from custody.

Police Commissioner Stanislav Veniger has commented for the STA on the exclusion of the evidence in the trial, saying it would have a destimulating effect on everyone who investigated the case.

While he believes that the investigators acted lawfully, Veniger added that evaluating the evidence in the final stage was the domain of a different body. This however depends on legal standards, which are rising all the time - the level of human rights protection is increasing and the it is necessary to follow that, he said.

The charges in the Balkan Warrior trial were the result of a sting in May 2010 in cooperation with Serbian police and the US Drug Enforcement Administration in the aftermath of an arrest in Uruguay in October 2009 of two men trying to smuggle 2.17 tonnes of cocaine to the Mediterranean.


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