Janković pleads not guilty in tax evasion case

Ljubljana – Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Janković entered a not guilty plea at an arraignment hearing at the Ljubljana District Court on Friday in a case of tax evasion concerning the sale of retailer Mercator shares in 2006. His two sons also pleaded not guilty as well but they did not attend the hearing.

Janković is charged with tax evasion in the sale of Mercator shares to the company Electa Inženiring, and according to the information available his sons, Jure and Damjan, are on trial for helping him in the deal.

Denying the charges, Janković said today that prosecutor Blanka Žgajnar was exercising “bullying” and was abusing the court.

He said that the Financial Administration (FURS) had stopped the procedure after conducting a second round of tax inspection because no irregularities had been found.

The mayor transferred the ownership of the company Elect Inženiring to his sons in 2004 and the company bought 47,000 Mercator shares with the money for the deal coming from a loan for which the mayor stood surety.

In 2006, Electa Inženiring sold the shares and gradually transferred the money from the sale as a return of a loan to Zoran Janković.

The prosecution claims that Zoran Janković thus avoided paying over EUR 103,000 in capital gains tax. It is convinced that he had control over Electa Inženiring all along and was still the owner of the shares that were only parked with the company until the sale.

“No matter what FURS decided we will determine during the court proceedings whether tax evasion took place. The prosecution insists that it did,” said Žgajner.

The trial is scheduled to start on 7 December.