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After Ten Years, the Last (24th) Judicial Construct Against Kangler Has Also Crumbled to Dust

The double standards of the corrupt Slovenian judiciary are clearly evident in the case of former mayor of Maribor, Franc Kangler, who was the victim of numerous fabricated lawsuits, from which he emerged victorious – but the consequences are irreparable and leave a dark mark on his career and life. “The criminal investigators looked the other way and went to find another judge, Žirovnik. The judge who was a former agent of the State Security Administration (Uprava državne bezbednosti – hereinafter referred to as UDBA), who was the deputy director of the Slovene Intelligence and Security Agency; they went to a judge who, as a former member of parliament, I supervised for eleven years. I supervised him and his work and also argued with him occasionally. This was a purely political fight,” Kangler explained in one of the cases, which we wrote about some time ago. Will the suffering finally end now that the last construct has fallen? “The wounds have healed; the scars will remain,” Kangler said.

“The Ljubljana Higher Court has finally closed the last political-police construct, ‘the Maribor Puppet Theatre!’ It rejected the Supreme State Prosecutor’s Office’s complaint! I supposedly used my influence to secure 7.4 million euros for the Municipality of Maribor! Who is the one that is crazy here? The last 24 charges will finally be closed,” Franc Kangler wrote on Twitter, attaching a document that reads as follows: “The First Instance Court found that the appearance of impartiality of the District Judge Janez Žirovnik was tarnished due to his relationship with Franc Kangler when Žirovnik was still employed at the Slovene Intelligence and Security Agency (Slovenska obveščevalno-varnostna agencija – hereinafter referred to as SOVA), and the defendant was a member of the Commission for the Oversight of the Intelligence and Security Services, as well as due to Janez Žirovnik’s candidacy for Chief of the Maribor Administration Unit at a time when the suspect Franc Kangler was still the mayor of the Maribor municipality.” The prosecution in the case of the puppet theatre, for which they received 7.5 million euros from Europe, which is also the amount of the theatre’s own funds, was initiated because Kangler was being accused of committing the crime of fraud – he supposedly used his influence, and therefore the municipality of Maribor gained illegal benefits. After ten years, the ordeal will now finally be completed: “The Specialised State Prosecutor’s Office appealed the decision of the District Court in Ljubljana; the Higher Court rejected everything and agreed with me – so now we are just waiting to see how the story will be concluded, it is possible that the prosecution will step down, or that the judge will close the matter. After ten years, the last story has also found truth and justice,” the Secretary of State explained.

Some time ago, State Secretary Franc Kangler already highlighted what he believes to be controversial activities of the Investigating Judge Janez Žirovnik, who, in as many as eight cases, signed an order for the Maribor criminal investigators for the use of covert investigative methods. Kangler argued that his relations with Žirovnik were fraught with numerous conflicts – at the time when Žirovnik worked for the Slovene Intelligence and Security Agency, which Kangler supervised as an MP, the two were often in conflict. Despite the fact that the proceedings ended in his favour, he could neither work nor sleep peacefully, he told the court, explaining that he feared he would be convicted again. “Because in Slovenia, it is a sin to be a right-wing politician,” he added. According to Kangler, it all started on the 4th of May 2011. Prior to that, he had a good reputation in both the social and political environment: “Whenever I decided to run in any election, I was always elected. After the police and the state came after me with all of their proceedings, my reputation was tarnished. I then ran for mayor twice and was not elected,” Kangler said.

Kangler is asking for 661,725 euros in damages
The State Secretary at the Ministry of the Interior and the former mayor of Maribor believes that the state came after him with staged trials, so he is asking for 661,725 euros in damages, as the court proceedings severely tarnished his reputation. The Ljubljana District Court Judge Božena Novak, who is the judge in his case against the state, said that he had listed 2200 negative media reports – and all of these only refer to the case of Ježovita, where he was initially sentenced to seven months in prison and then after the wiretaps were excluded from the file, was acquitted.

A Twitter user commented on the matter, writing: “Dear Franc, the problem is that all 24 accusations will be rejected Because the same people who were going after you and harassing you all these years are practically living in the judiciary. This was actually a classic example of political assassination. You could use it as a perfect example at the Faculty of Law. No expert introduction-explanation needed. This was clearly a judicial crime.”

Kangler is demanding a total of 661,725 euros and the default interest due to the five criminal proceedings against him (the cases of the psychic Ježovita, Astrid Bah, Kolektor or the Maribor market, the puppet theatre and the radars). Four of the five proceedings have already ended in his favour. Twenty charges were filed against him, but he was also the target of a financial investigation and a tax review – the politics “kidnapped” the Maribor police, prosecutor’s office, and courts. Due to the loss of personal income, as he was unable to work for the company Varnost, d.d., from April 2013 until March of last year when he was appointed the Secretary of State, he is demanding 251,725 euros. He also expects a total of 410,000 euros due to mental anguish, Delo reported in early May this year.

Sara Bertoncelj

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