The Slovenia Times

Official Confirmation: Janša Stays in Prison


The official announcement of the decision on Janša's appeal on a point of law comes after Slovenian media reported in early October, based on unofficial information, that the former prime minister had been turned down by the court.

Confirmation from this could be ascertained from the fact that Janša was not released from prison, since successful appeals result in an immediate release from prison, even before the court issues a written explanation of its ruling.

The written ruling was sent out to Janša today, said the Supreme Court, which held the hearing into the appeal on 30 September.

In its decision, the court found that the arguments in the appeal were unfounded. A five-member panel of judges established no violations of the penal proceedings act that would warrant reversing the conviction.

Moreover, it said that the defence's arguments that the ruling of the lower courts were wrong were not admissible in appeals to the Supreme Court, which only reviews application of law and adherence of procedures to legal norms.

Janša had been found guilty of accepting a promise of bribe by the Ljubljana Local Court in June 2013 and the verdict was upheld on appeal by the Higher Court in April of this year.

In the Slovenian legal system, the ruling becomes final at second instance and further appeals are extraordinary and related to the use of law rather to the facts of the case.

Janša and his lawyer Franci Matoz have already said they will take now take their appeal against the conviction to the Constitutional Court, the highest court in the land, which reviews adherence to the Constitution.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court also rejected the appeals of Janša's two co-defendants, Ivan Črnkovič and Tone Krkovič, against their convictions in the Patria case. Krkovič's lawyer, Jože Hribernik, announced that he would now petition the Constitutional Court.

Janša was sentenced to two years in prison for accepting the promise of a bribe in the purchase of armoured personnel carriers from Finnish contractor Patria. Črnkovič and Krkovič got 22 months each for being part of the bribery plot.

All vehemently deny any wrongdoing, arguing that they were the victims of a politically-motivated show trial.

Janša, the leader of the opposition Democratic Party (SDS), maintains he had no role in the massive defence contract concluded in 2006 and that his political opponents are out to get him through a politically-biased court system.


More from Nekategorizirano