STA, 18 October 2019 - Pre-trial hearings were held at the Ljubljana District Court on Friday in an insurance fraud scheme case in which a young woman cut off her hand at the beginning of the year to claim insurance. Two suspects pleaded not guilty, one was absent, while the hearing for the 21-year-old woman was suspended for procedural reasons.
The 21-year-old Julija Adlešič, who cut off her hand, and her 29-year-old partner Sebastien Abramov, who allegedly put her up to it, came to their separate hearings from custody.
The other two suspects who allegedly took part in the scheme are Abramov's mother Tinka Huskić Colarič and his father Gorazd Colarič. The father did not attend the hearing but since he appealed the indictment the court took his absence as a non-guilty plea.
Adlešič's hearing was, however, adjourned until Monday after her lawyer warned that the court file lacked a document allowing Sedin Kičin, a local court prosecutor, to lead a procedure at the district court.
Kičin told the press after the hearing that the document had been issued and presented to the court but would now be presented to the judge as well.
Adlešič, Abramov and Huskić are accused of five counts of fraud and Colarič of one count that affected multiple insurance companies.
They face up to eight years in prison.
Media first reported about the story in March. Abramov reportedly made life and accident insurance policies for Adlešič with five insurance companies at the end of last year.
In January, when the insurance was valid and the first instalments paid, Adlešič cut off her left hand just above the wrist with a circular saw at Colarič's home.
Colarič took Adlešič to the hospital, leaving the cut-off part of the arm at home. But police, who were also informed of the incident, picked it up and brought it to the hospital, where doctors managed to sew it back on.
Only days later, the four suspects filed damages claims with the five insurance companies. But they did not receive any money, as police already started investigating the case.
If the police had not interfered, the 21-year-old would have received EUR 1.2m in damages and several hundred thousand euro in monthly rent.
Adlešič had been claiming she had an accident while sawing off tree branches.
Colarič claims in his appeal he had not been presented his rights properly, that he has a hearing impairment and was mentally retarded.
Prosecutor Sedin Kičin said he had been present during his questioning and had got the impression that Colarič heard the questions, understood them and provided relevant answers.
Abramov's lawyer meanwhile demanded exclusion of some evidence, including interviews with Adlešič's parents, claiming they had not been warned that they are not obligated to testify against their daughter's partner.
The parents also turned to the media with their story, saying Abramov was heavily manipulating with their daughter.
Ambramov is meanwhile also being tried for the murder of his girlfriend Sara Veber, who died in March 2015 in what Abramov claims was a shooting accident.