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Milko Novič (STA)

A new blot on the court’s reputation: The Novič case has officially become obsolete, but the ordeal continues

One of the saddest episodes in the Slovenian judiciary, the Novič case, should have officially become statute-barred on the 11th of October 2020. However, this did not happen. “So far, we have made two initiatives for the senate to rule on the statute of limitations. The responses to both initiatives were negative, stating that the senate will not rule on the matter. I am expecting similar responses in the future. We do not even know when the matter is supposed to become absolutely obsolete, even after the extension brought by the corona law. We are expecting it to become absolutely obsolete in the second half of December,” Milko Novič commented on the matter for Nova24TV.

The accused Milko Novič has been going through an ordeal that no one in the world deserves to go through. In December 2014, the director of the National Institute of Chemistry, dr. Janko Jamnik was murdered in the parking lot of the Via Bona restaurant in Ljubljana, Vič; at around half-past seven in the evening. Novič became the suspect unusually quickly. He allegedly harboured personal resentments towards Jamnik. But as it later turned out, Jamnik and Novič were both victims of criminal groups from the Institute of Chemistry. The groups allegedly used various chemical compounds to make drugs for their clients, who then supplied the drugs to various criminal groups. The case should have become obsolete on the 11th of October, 2020, however, Novič told us that he does not know how the judge will decide at the upcoming hearing. The defence is currently waiting to get the third opinion from the forensic experts in ballistics and chemistry from Austria. “At the last hearing, we were told that the Austrian experts were expected to issue an opinion within four to six weeks,” Novič said.

“On the 12th of December 2020, six years will have passed since the country began tormenting and harassing me because of this matter. I have spent nearly three and a half of those six years in custody or in prison. I want to forget these years more than anything, but I cannot. I have no faith in our legal system and am afraid of the situation being repeated and the system sending me back to prison,” Novič told us. He finds it very difficult to live like this, which both he and his family know very well. He also said he will never forget the public accusation made by the former Director of the National Bureau of Investigation, Darko Majhenič, on Planet TV, on the day of his arrest. “All of this was far from easy.”

Judge Zvjezdan Radonjić fell out of favour with the President of the District Court, Marjan Pogačnik, due to the acquittal
Judge Zvjezdan Radonjić played a decisive role in the trial, as he acquitted Milko Novič last year. However, the gentlemen at the prosecutor’s office were not satisfied, so the case was sent to the higher court, where Radonjić’s decision was overturned and the case was sent back to the first instance court. A few court hearings were held, but the retrial has not been brought to an end.

Novič does not believe that a final acquittal will happen. “A judge who judged fairly was eliminated by the system. There was enough time for a fair trial, but I did not get a fair trial. Except with Judge Radonjič,” Novič said. According to him, the process is being delayed ever since the indictment became final. In a six-year-long process, it seems to him as if the final few weeks are the most crucial. “This just does not seem in line with the desire for a fair and quick trial.”

In the past, we have already reported on the fact that the wheels of the deep state simply did not want to release Novič, and after some suspicious legal practices, intended to convict him once again, for an act he did not commit. However, the deep state made a mistake when it entrusted the case to the brave and independent judge Radonjić, who did not allow himself to be confused by the pressure of external forces that wanted to condemn Novič at any rate. As things did not turn out as expected, the judge was then punished with a suspension.

“When I got this case for trial, five or six judges said, it’s a good thing that you got it because you are the only one who can finish it. What they meant by that, is not that I am the only one capable of doing that, but rather, that I am so independent. I studied the matter. Before the trial, I went to a top legal expert and told him word for word what was going to happen at that trial. And everything that I predicted, actually happened,” Radonjič said at the acquittal last year. He also announced that this decision would ruin his judicial career. His words turned out to be prophetic, as the leaders at the Supreme Court constantly harassed him with various proceedings, up until this year, when he was temporarily suspended due to the initiated disciplinary procedure. They also took away all of the cases Radonjić had been a judge in.

He also mentioned that one of the judges kept on visiting him, insisting that Novič has to be convicted. The President of the District Court Ljubljana, Marjan Pogačnik, had the opportunity to prove himself once and for all, and allow for a fair trial to be held and a fair decision to be made. Given Pogačnik’s actions from the past, we seriously doubt that he will allow for this to happen, as he has repeatedly proven to be a defender of everything but the rule of law. The trial dragged on and on, due to bizarre manoeuvres, right up to the point where the statute of limitations is about to expire, while Jamnik’s murderer is still free and Judge Radonjić has had to be suspended and is now preparing to leave the judicial service. This is an infamous epilogue and a blot on the court’s reputation. “As I have already said, I will leave it to time, I will let whatever they intended for me, to happen. I do not have any faith in the rule of law in our country,” Milko Novič told us at the end.

Luka Perš

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