The Slovenia Times

Patria case statute-barring ruled final


The Higher Court rejected an appeal by Janša against the District Court ruling from September that the case fell under the statute of limitations as of August.

According to the Higher Court, the District Court had ran afoul of the criminal procedure act with its decision on the statute of limitations but did so "to the benefit of the defendant".

Since a defendant cannot lodge a complaint that would be detrimental to his status, the Higher Court rejected Janša's motion, follows from the ruling published by Janša on Twitter.

"Kafkaesque U-turn by the court: the claimant is right but the claim is nevertheless rejected. Murgle is making fun of the law again," Janša tweeted in a reference to the borough where Milan Kučan, the former president, lives.

The September ruling was widely expected after the Constitutional Court, Slovenia's top court, ordered a retrial in April, although there was some uncertainty whether the provision from the new penal code regarding limitations may apply in the case.

Under the previous criminal code, valid when the alleged corruption crimes were committed in 2005, the case became statute barred within ten years from the alleged crime, in August 2015.

Under the current, revised criminal code, cases become statute barred within two years after a final judgement has been repealed.

The cases against Janša, who was accused of accepting the promise of a bribe in the 2006 defence deal with Patria, businessman Ivan Črnkovič and retired army general Anton Krkovič, have all been dropped.

In his appeal, the former prime minister wanted the Higher Court to repeal the part of the decision related to him and return the case to the Local Court, from which he sought that it reject the indictment outright for failing to meet the required burden of proof.

Janša has alleged throughout that the case was an attempt by his political opponents, spearheaded by Kučan, to discredit him by abusing the judiciary.

The weekly Reporter said in late September that he intends to file a damage suit with the European Court of Human Rights against Branko Masleša, the president of the Supreme Court, which upheld the guilty verdict against Janša.


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