Janković, six others plead not guilty in air conditioning case

Ljubljana – Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Janković and six co-defendants pleaded not guilty in a case concerning alleged wrongdoing related to the air conditioning engine room of the Stožice Sports Park at Tuesday’s pre-trial hearing. The defence was critical of the evidence presented by the prosecution and proposed certain pieces of evidence be excluded.

In addition to Mayor Janković, the co-defendants include his son and director of the company Electa Damijan Janković, former director of the power distributor Energetika Ljubljana Hrvoje Drašković and Zlatko Sraka, the retired former director of the construction company Energoplan.

Also being charged in the case are Uroš Ogrin, a former employee of the bankrupt construction company Gradis, Boštjan Stamejčič of the company Baza Dante and the company Electa Inženiring.

The indictment says that Energetika Ljubljana, following an intervention by Janković, purchased the premises for the air conditioning engine room at Stožice for EUR 3 million from Grep as the builder of the sports park, although he latter was not the owner, but only the holder of the right of superficies.

It adds that the contract signed prior to this arrangement stipulated that Energetika Ljubljana will get these premises free of charge.

The price for the premises had first been set at EUR 1.2 million, after which it was decided to additionally charge Energetika Ljubljana for the premises for the air conditioning engine room that had already been paid for.

An annex was added to the original purchase contract, with the cost ballooning to more than EUR 3 million, and the complicated circle of financial transactions that followed included companies connected with the Janković family.

According to the prosecution, some of the money has ended up directly on the mayor’s account.

All six individuals and representative of the indicted company pleaded not guilty at the the Ljubljana District Court, with Janković’s lawyer Janez Koščak saying that the evidence was unclear.

He asked the court to order the prosecution to specifically elaborate what was being proven with each piece of evidence and, like the majority of representatives of the defendants, he submitted a request for exclusion of evidence.

“Of course the defence claims that everything is unlawful,” prosecutor Blanka Žgajnar said after the pre-trial hearing, adding that the prosecution would reply to the proposal, “and then we will carry on with the proceedings.