The Slovenia Times

Patria Trial Enters New Stage


At today's proceedings the court confirmed a minor change of the indictment, which appears to be a symbolic move on behalf of the prosecution.

The original indictment said that Prime Minister Janez Janša "received a promise of an unidentified place, at an unidentified time and in an unidentified manner."

The indictment was changed to replace "in an unidentified manner" with "an unidentified communication method", which prosecutor Andrej Ferlinc said should "demystify" the situation.

"Whether that happened via a computer, telephone or in direct contact is irrelevant to the existence of the criminal act," Ferlinc said.

Janša has frequently used this section of the indictment to illustrate what he deems the absurdity of the charges against him.

Janša appeared in court today after months of absence due to official duties, as did co-defendants Ivan Črnkovič and Tone Krkovič.

Jože Zagožen, a former close aide of Janša's, and Austro-Canadian businessmen Walter Wolf, a suspected go-between, did not show up.

Zagožen called in sick and Wolf's attorney said his client, who is currently in Canada, did not receive an invitation.

As the defence takes its turn presenting its evidence, the attorney for Črnkovič indicated today he would use a tactic that has succeeded in several high-profile cases in the past.

Attorney Dejan Marković demands that evidence obtained in the house search of Patria's former representative in Slovenia, Reijo Niittynen, be thrown out.

He said Finnish legislation allowed house searches to be conducted without the presence of witnesses, which he argues is in violation of human rights.

The attorney backed up his claim with a European Court of Human Rights ruling that Finland does not include sufficient human rights safeguards in its legislation on house searches.

Prosecutor Ferlinc said the demand was unjustified, as Niittynen never alleged his human rights had been violated. The court is yet to decide on the motion.

Niittynen, one of the defendants in the upcoming Patria trial in Finland, has testified via video link in Slovenia.


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