Scandalous Decision of the Bar Association: Janković’s Lawyer Not in Violation of Code of Ethics by Representing the “pharmacist” and by Charging Criminal Investigators Investigating the Mayor’s Sexual Harassment?!

Zoran Janković. (Photo: Demokracija)

The notorious lawyer of the Municipality of Ljubljana (Mol) Miha Kozinc, representing the pharmacist in the Mayor Zoran Janković’s wiretaps case, did not violate the provisions of the Code of Conduct, assessed the Ethics Committee of the Bar Association of Slovenia. When Kozinc took over the representation of the pharmacist, he filed a complaint against the criminal investigators who were conducting the case against Janković.

Janković was the center of attention for the National Investigative Office (Nacionalni preiskovalni urad – NPU) at the end of 2015. The NPU was checking on the suspected bribery and abuse of power. Janković’s conversation with a pharmacist was caught on tape. From it, it follows that Janković expected sexual services from her, in return for employment in the Lekarna Ljubljana pharmacy. In March of this year, the request for a judicial inquiry fell through after the courts decided to exclude the wiretaps from the evidence. Namely, as the court judged, the prosecutor missed the deadline for filing a request for a judicial inquiry.

According to the pharmacist, two NPU criminal investigators tried to force her to testify, for the requirements of criminal proceedings against Janković, by unlawfully and without reason entering into her apartment and taking her to the NPU for questioning. Kozinc then took over the representation of the woman and filed a complaint against the criminal investigators.

The fact that Kozinc took over the representation of the pharmacist – in addition to providing, for many years, judicial services for the Municipality of Ljubljana, made the headlines back then. Darko Stare, then State Secretary at the Bar Association, decided to draw attention to this and asked for the Bar’s position on whether such conduct could constitute a conflict of interests or whether it contravenes the Bar’s law or the Code of Conduct. The Law on the Legal Profession stipulates, inter alia, that a lawyer is obliged to refuse representation if he represents the opposite party in the same case, if the opposite party was represented by a lawyer working in the same lawyer’s office, or has as an employed lawyer, lawyer or trainee worked with a lawyer, which represented the opposite party.

Pay attention now: in the one-year-long procedure at the Bar Association, taken over by the Bar’s Ethics Committee, Kozinc justified that he really represented the municipality, but in no case has se represented Janković, and that the municipality and mayor are not one and the same. On the contrary, Stare emphasized that the crime suspect was the Mayor of Mol, who is also a representative of the Mol and thus represents the municipality.

It is not Ethically Controversial Because the Content of the Matter is Different?!

The Ethics Committee finally decided that Kozinc did not violate the Code of Conduct by taking over the representation of the pharmacist. The Committee stated that “the lawyer filed a criminal complaint, authorized by the client, against two NPU criminal investigators. In the procedure against the Mayor Zoran Janković, the lawyer did not take over the representation of the injured party in the case and did not represent anyone in this procedure”. According to the opinion of the members of the Ethics Committee, published anonymously on the Bar’s webpage, Kozinc represents the Mol in entirely different content matters and therefore, by taking over the representation of the pharmacist, he could not misuse the information gained by the lawyer during his representation of the Mol, and vice versa, the STA news agency reported.