Slovenia's former prime minister Janez Jansa has been jailed for two years for taking bribes in a major arms deal, in a case that he denounces as an attack by political enemies.
Judge Barbara Klajnsek told a court in the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana, that Jansa had been found "guilty on the charges of giving or receiving bribes or promising bribes in the acquisition of armoured vehicles" from Finnish defence firm Patria.
“The criminal offence in the case of Jansa was proved in its entirety . . . Claims by defence lawyers that the accusations are not clearly defined are incorrect,” said Ms Klajnsek, adding that Jansa’s party was poised to receive a “commission” from the €278million deal. The contract was scrapped when the scandal came to light. A former defence ministry official and a businessman were both sentenced to 22 months in jail, and each of the three defendants was ordered to pay a fine of €37,000.
Jansa (54), whose second term as premier ended earlier this year when his government was ousted amid a separate corruption scandal, vowed to appeal against the verdict. “This is a show trial. This verdict is a disgrace for our country,” he said. “This verdict had been written in advance, by well-known authors.” Jansa, who now leads his centre-right Slovenian Democratic Party in opposition, accuses his left-leaning rivals of pursuing the case to discredit him.
His government fell in March in a parliamentary vote of no-confidence, after Slovenia’s anti-corruption watchdog said Jansa had failed to declare more than €200,000 of private assets. He also rejected that accusation.