Court dismisses case against suspected attacker on judge

Ljubljana – Nearly three years after a brutal attack on a Maribor judge in front of her home, the Slovenj Gradec district court dismissed the case against the chief suspect, the judge’s former partner, due to a lack of evidence, Večer reported on Saturday. The decision is final.

After the investigation that lasted a year and a half, the indictment against the suspect, Andrej Horvat, was filed by the prosecution in October last year. The defendant, who faced charges of attempted murder, filed a plea in December 2021.

In February this year, the Slovenj Gradec district court ruled that the criminal proceedings against Horvat should be stopped for want of evidence, the newspaper Večer reported.

Both the Maribor prosecutor’s office and the victim, judge Daniela Ružič, appealed against the decision, but were unsuccessful as the Maribor Higher Court dismissed the appeals as unfounded in April.

The attack on the judge took place in front of her home in Pekre near Maribor in June 2019. After the attack, during which she had not seen the attacker, she called for help from her then partner, with whom she was in the process of separating. Horvat called an ambulance to take the badly injured judge to hospital.

Initially, there was speculation that the attack might have been motivated by her work as a judge, but the police detained Horvat a week after the attack and released him shortly after this.

Ružič first did not believe that Horvat was the attacker, but she later became increasingly convinced that her ex-partner might have been behind the attack.