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The Trial Date For Those Responsible In The Patria Case Has Been Announced: Judge Masleša Is Among The Defendants

The date for the trial of those responsible in the Patria case has been announced. The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Slovenia closed the case at the end of June and declared the defendant, Janez Janša, innocent. This brings to an end a saga of more than 15 years, the main goal of which was to morally contaminate a prominent statesman and enable his imprisonment just before the elections to the National Assembly. Among the defendants in the upcoming trial is also Supreme Court Judge Branko Masleša, who allegedly has incomplete education.

The dates for the preparatory hearing and the first main hearing for the trial of those responsible in the Patria case have been set. The applicant in the lawsuit is Ivan Janez Janša, who is represented by lawyer Franci Matoz. The defendants are prosecutor Branka Zobec Hrastar, Barbara Klanjšek, Milan Štrukelj, Vesna Žalik, Supreme Court Judge Branko Masleša, and the Republic of Slovenia. The dates for the preparatory hearing and the first hearing for the principal action in this litigation have been set for the 15th of November 2022, at 9 a.m. at the District Court in Kranj.

The party must appear in person at the preparatory hearing and answer the court’s questions in person. Some other information on possible representation before the District Court is set out below. It is also stated that a party who fails to appear at a preparatory hearing must, at the request of the other party, reimburse the costs of that hearing. In addition, he or she loses the right to claim further costs of the proceedings before the court of the first instance.

In the event that the proceedings are terminated with the conclusion of a court settlement, the court will reimburse the applicant for part of the court fees in accordance with the provisions of the law governing court fees. However, if the preparatory hearing does not result in a court settlement, the court may immediately open the main hearing. A party shall, no later than at the first hearing, state all the facts necessary to substantiate its claims, offer such evidence as is necessary to establish his or her claims, and make a statement on the opposing party’s claims and evidence offered.

The Patria case is an internationally publicised judicial construct: the leader of the opposition was thrown in jail just before the elections
On the 28th of June 2022, we reported that the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Slovenia had closed the case and declared Janša innocent. “After more than 15 years of the Patria case saga, Slovenia’s caricature of the rule of law has ended the case by declaring my innocence,” former Prime Minister Janša wrote on Twitter at the time, adding that after much hesitation, the Constitutional Court rejected his legal team’s appeal against the statute of limitations and announced that their decision had the same legal consequences as an acquittal. The internationally publicised Patria construct allowed the Slovenian courts to throw the leader of the opposition in jail just before the elections. We also want to remind you that the Supreme Court Judge who was involved in this case – namely, Branko Masleša – attracted a lot of attention a few months ago because of questions about his education.

Domen Mezeg

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