STA, 2 April 2019 - The Koper District Court sentenced on Tuesday former Istrabenz general manager Igor Bavčar to two years and six months in prison for abuse of office. Since he is already serving a five-year prison sentence for money laundering related to a deal involving Istrabenz shares, he was handed a uniform sentence of seven years and five months.
The other defendant, former Maksima Holding director general Miroslav Golubić, got a prison sentence of a year and eight months.
The prosecution demanded two years and a half for Bavčar and two years for Golubić.
The pair were on trial over a 2007 deal involving a purchase of Intereuropa shares.
The Istrabenz conglomerate entered a forward contract Maksima Holding had with the bank Banka Celje which set down a mandatory purchase of Intereuropa shares at a set price and in a specified period.
It bought almost 288,000 Intereuropa shares at 49 euro a piece from Banka Celje on 20 December 2007 at a price of EUIR 14.1m, and sold them back to the bank a day later at 36 euro a piece, or for around EUR 10.4m.
The prosecution has argued that by overpaying the shares by EUR 3.7m, Istrabenz incurred the damage that would have been otherwise incurred by Maksima Holding.
The court ordered today that all assets illegally gained by Maksima Holding be confiscated.
The ruling is not final yet.
The head of the judicial panel, Orjana Trunkl, said the deal was unnecessary, even harmful for Istrabenz. Bavčar clearly ventured into it to prevent damage to Maksima Holding, she said.
This was in his best interest as the absolute owner of the company FBI, which held a controlling stake in Maksima Holding, which was preparing the ground for the takeover of Istrabenz.
Golubić, whom the court found to be actively helping Bavčar, received a milder sentence because he was an accomplice and had no previous criminal record.
Neither of the defendants were in court today, but given their line of defence, they will probably lodge an appeal.
The prosecution in contrast, is happy with the ruling and will not appeal unless any procedural problems arise.