The Slovenia Times

Janša Sent to Prison, He is Convinced About Political Plot


Voicing his first reaction via Twitter, the ex-prime minister drew a connection between recent political developments and the release of the verdict.

"Deep state: 1) Visit by MK to @ABratusek - 2) Brdo Process - 3) Disintegration of @PozitivnaSlo - 4) Patria verdict - 5) Early elections #Murglejust," he tweeted.

The tweet makes a reference to the recent visit by Former Slovenian President Milan Kučan to PM Alenka Bratušek ahead of last week's congress of the ruling Positive Slovenia (PS).

At the congress, Bratušek was defeated in the PS leadership race by Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Janković, which is expected to cause a split in the party and lead to early elections.

At the public hearing of the case by the Higher Court on 19 March, Janša predicted that the verdict would be issued in the run-up to elections in the country.

He has vehemently denied the charges against him, blaming it on a conspiracy from his political opponents.

The hashtag "Murglejust" is a reference to the Murgle borough in Ljubljana which has become synonymous with Kučan.

Janša and Kučan have been at odds since the pre-independence period, when Janša was arrested and faced a military show trial in 1988 in which he was found guilty of dealing in state secrets. He was subsequently freed after mass protests.

The view was echoed by the SDS in a statement issued in English in which it said Janša was convicted in a "politically-motivated trial".

The party said the verdict was made without a shred of evidence proving Janša's involvement.

It also argued that he was convicted for accepting the promise of a bribe in the 2006 Patria defence tender, despite a Finnish court clearing Patria representatives of bribery in the case in January.

The SDS complained about what it sees as a lack of a clear determination of the time, place and means with which the crime was committed in the indictment.

The party quotes Harvard-based jurist Klemen Jaklič as saying that Janša is a victim of "legal fiction", while saying that "an unreformed and non-lustrated Slovenian judicial system" was to blame.

In his defence in the Patria trial, the two-time former prime minister (2004-2008 and 2012-2013) maintained that he had no contacts with those mentioned in the indictment, which is why he could not have accepted an offer of a bribe.

He has vowed to use all legal and political means to have his name cleared.

In a separate tweet published after the publication of the verdict, Janša also took issue with the speed with which the verdict was released in the media.

He suggested that there was a connection between "machinery for destruction of political opponents" and what he says are media hostile to him.

The Higher Court upheld the ruling of the Ljubljana Local Court, which on 5 June 2013 sentenced Janša to two-years in prison for accepting the promise of a bribe.

The convictions of co-defendants Tone Krkovič, a retired army officer, and Ivan Črnkovič, the boss of the Slovenian partner of Patria, were also upheld. They were given 22-month prison terms.

In addition to the jail time, the three will each have to pay a fine of EUR 37,000 and court costs.

Krkovič's lawyer Jože Hribernik also spoke of a political verdict, which he says will cost the court its credibility. He already announced an appeal at the Supreme Court.

Črnkovič reiterated today that the decision had been expected although "there is no evidence, there cannot be and never will be".


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