The Slovenia Times

Fugitive Executive Arrested in Dominican Republic


Časar, 53, who was due to report in prison in March 2014 to serve five years and nine months for abuse of office and bribery, was arrested in Santo Domingo on 26 February, a police release said.

It added that he is currently in Paris, France, awaiting to be extradited to Slovenia as part of a procedure handled by the Slovenian Justice Ministry.

Commending the Slovenian police on the arrest, Justice Minister Goran Klemenčič assessed extradition procedure would not take long, but could not say when Časar would arrive in Slovenia.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a parliamentary session, Klemenčič said there was no longer any obstacle to his extradition now that Časar was in the EU.

More information about the case will be available at a news conference in Ljubljana at 1 PM featuring the chief of crime investigations Branko Japelj and the head of the Ljubljana crime investigations department Dean Jurič.

Časar's lawyer Daniel Planinšec told the STA he could not comment on the extradition because he had not been notified of his client's arrest, which the police had conducted in cooperation with Interpol.

The police issued an international arrest warrant for Časar on 20 March 2014 after he failed to report to prison. His wife quit her job in the summer and his children failed to show up in school in September.

The police later also offered a reward for information about him.

While on the run Časar paid money to legalise his illegally built house, leaving a trace through his transaction account. Police had previously also collected tip-offs by several people.

Časar, who served as Luka Koper boss in 2005-2009, was sentenced to six years by the Koper District Court in January 2013, but the Higher Court reduced the sentence by three months in December that year.

He was found guilty of defrauding the state-owned port operator in several land deals in 2007 along with former MP Srečko Prijatelj and businessman Marjan Mikuž.

Prijatelj was found to have persuaded Časar and Mikuž to enter deals in which Luka Koper bought real estate through Mikuž's firm Premik net, which was paid 4% commission.

Of the EUR 742,000 that the port operator paid to Premik net, Mikuž was found to have paid EUR 86,000 to Časar and EUR 245,000 to Prijatelj.

A member of the then ruling Democratic Party (SDS), Časar was a prominent figure in the coastal region at the time of the first government of Janez Janša, working closely with Mayor of Koper Boris Popović.

Časar had also been investigated for other deals as Luka Koper boss, including recapitalisation of two joint-ventures in Romania, a case he was acquitted in in October 2013.

According to media reports, he faces further charges over an allegedly phoney hiring of a security firm and a deal with builder Grafist that was allegedly detrimental to Luka Koper, among other cases.

Luka Koper has also brought several damages suits against him running to several million euros.

The Koper District Court ruled in October 2014 that Časar and his former aide Aldo Babič must pay the port operator EUR 680,000 damages because the company built a car depot without permits.


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