By: Domen Mezeg / Nova24tv.si
a preliminary hearing was held at the court in Celje regarding the former director of Eurogradenja, Klemen Gantar. The subject of the hearing is alleged controversial transactions related to land in Trenta. Gantar did not admit guilt and neither did SDS champion Janez Janša. The latter objected to the indictment. Janša was not at the hearing, as a result it did not go on for him today. His lawyer, Franci Matoz, is otherwise convinced that criminal prosecution in the case is complete nonsense. This time, however, we are publishing photos of the land as it was originally built with three buildings, because the media presented it as a worthless plot. Therefore, we doubt that the prosecutor could buy such a plot for only 20 thousand euros.
The former boss of Imos, Branko Kastelic, was also not present at the hearing. His lawyer apologised. The prosecution accuses the defendants of abusing their position and assisting in a controversial land transaction in Trenta. The matter has been dragging on for several years. When asked why, prosecutor Boštjan Valenčič replied that it was a very long investigation. Ten court experts for various professions were included in it, the latter produced expert opinions, which were subsequently rejected. As a result, it was necessary to appoint new experts. According to Valenčič’s estimates, the case could expire in 2025 or 2026.
Janez Janša’s lawyer, Franci Matoz, said that he had not read more stupidity than what is written in the indictment for a long time. Matoz: “Maybe the prosecutor messed something up. Let him buy a cellar for the money that the plot in Trenta was worth. The prosecution claims in the indictment that it was worth 20,000 euros. If the prosecutor thinks that he can buy something with this money, I will give him this money.” The lawyer added that the former prime minister’s plot was approximately 15,000 square meters in size. It is also an elite location by the river Soča, and according to an urban planner, the plot is buildable, and replacement construction was also possible. Matoz also emphasised that the story has been dragging on for years.
The investigation lasted as long as seven years, which he attributes to the incompetence of the judge who was entrusted with the case. Martina Žaucer Hrovatin, Klemen Gantar’s lawyer, suggested that the journalistic articles relating to the sale of land in Trenta and the direct questioning of witnesses and experts in urban planning and construction be read. Let’s remember: the prosecution accuses the former prime minister of having bought the plot in question for 350,000 tolars, which is 1,460 euros, in 1992, and later sold it to Eurogradnja in 2005 for 31.4 million tolars, or 131,000 euros. Later, this company sold the land to Imos at a price of 146,000 euros, and in the same year, Janša bought a three-room apartment in the capital from Imos for 236,100 euros.
The prosecutor’s office was unable to confirm the allegedly agreed high price
The overpayment of around 100,000 euros by the Eurogradnja company for land in Trenta is said to have helped him with the purchase. The court appraiser estimated the price of the plot at 17,655 euros after Imos went bankrupt. Damjan Podjed bought the plot at an auction for 127,500 euros at the time when the criminal investigation began. Then there was a suspicion that it was an agreed high price. In this way, those involved in the sale were supposed to avoid criminal prosecution, but the prosecutor’s office was unable to confirm this. Last year, the Senate of Supreme Judges granted Janša’s lawyer’s request regarding the transfer of local jurisdiction. As a result, the case was transferred to the District Court in Celje. The latter had to decide on objections against the indictment. All objections were rejected by the court.