By: Sara Kovač / Nova24tv
After witnessing the slow operation of the prosecutor’s office in the infamous case of the pharmacist, which helped Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Janković, some of the allegations against Janković in the Stožice case are now statute-barred. All of this happened before the trial even began.
The Ljubljana District Court confirmed to Siol that the criminal offenses of falsifying or destroying business documents in the Stožice case had become obsolete even before the court hearing that Judge Mojca Kocijančič intended to carry out in December. The indictment was filed on May 18th, 2018, and the decision on the statute of limitations for part of the alleged criminal offenses has not yet become legally-binding, according to the court.
The trial is related to 2010, when a contract in the amount of 1.8 million euros was signed for the allegedly fictitious lease of parking lots in Stožice. Based on this, Grep company became creditworthy and was able to take out a loan from NLB in excess of 50 million euros (a loan that was never repaid). In this way, the municipality was given the opportunity to co-finance from European funds and the state budget in the amount of 1.8 million euros.
In connection with the construction of Stožice, the mayor of Ljubljana and his co-defendants have been accused of several criminal offenses for more than four years. The prosecution alleges, among other things, fraud to the detriment of the European Union in connection with European funds, abuse of official position, deception in obtaining a loan and forgery or destruction of business documents. Among the defendants are, in addition to the mayor of Ljubljana: Uroš Ogrin and Zlatko Sraka from the company Gradis-Energoplan (Grep), which built Stožice; former defence minister and director of the Tivoli Institute Roman Jakič, head of the municipal sports department Marko Kolenc, former director of the Ljubljana Parking and Market public company Samo Lozej, project directors of the Stožice Sports Park Andrej Lavrič, Borut Skubica and Milan Črepinšek.
Žgajnar’s delay helped destroy secretly recorded conversations in the pharmacist case
According to unofficial data, the allegations of falsification or destruction of business documents became statute-barred last year, which is, of course, before the start of the trial. At this point, many are wondering how this is possible. It should be noted that the trial in the case is being led by the wife of the former Minister of Justice in the LDS governments, Aleš Zalar, Mojca Kocijančič. Kocijančič became known to the public when she warned years ago that prosecutor Blanka Žgajnar had missed the two-year legal deadline by which she should announce that she would initiate criminal proceedings against the mayor of Ljubljana. For this reason, the secretly recorded conversations of Janković, which were related to the pharmacist Katarina, who could not get a job for an indefinite period in a pharmacy owned by the municipality, were destroyed.
After the mayor intervened, Katarina came to the desired form of employment. According to the findings of the prosecutors, which were obtained through secret wiretaps, the pharmacist allegedly offered intimacy in return. However, the recordings were destroyed due to the delay in the legal deadlines for the commencement of criminal proceedings. Kocijančič pointed out to the prosecution an article stating the following: “If the public prosecutor declares that s/he will not initiate criminal proceedings against the suspect, or if s/he does not make such a statement within two years after the end of special (usually secret) investigative measures, the material referred to in the previous paragraph shall be destroyed under the supervision of the investigating judge. The investigating judge shall make an official note of this destruction.”
When asked how the statute of limitations for some of the criminal offenses in the Stožice case came about, the court, among other things clarified to Siol that the indictment was filed on May 18th, 2018 and became legally-binding on September 19th, 2018. Prior to that, there were objections to the indictment. The out-of-court panel of the court received the objections on July 6th, 2018, and on December 1st, last year the appellate court rejected the appeals against the decision to reject the evidence as unfounded. The last pre-trial hearing was held on June 5th last year. “The case was continuously considered taking into account the order of cases, appeals filed and the time of deciding against them,” they pointed out regarding the way of working and confirmed that a hearing for the main hearing in the Stožice case will be called in December this year. The court confirmed that a decision on the statute of limitations had been issued regarding part of the alleged criminal offenses, but this was not yet legally-binding.