Štarjerska Guard Militia Leader Still in Custody

By , 05 Nov 2018, 11:22 AM Politics
Štarjerska Guard Militia Leader Still in Custody Slovenka TV Facebook

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STA, 3 November 2018 - Andrej Šiško, the leader of a self-proclaimed local para-military formation, will remain in custody after the Supreme Court upheld the argument of lower courts that he represents a danger to the constitutional order.

"There are reasonable grounds to believe that the suspect formed a para-military unit and called for the formation of other militias across Slovenia that would, when the time is right, bring down the highest authorities of the state," the Supreme Court.

The decision, announced on Friday, comes in response to an appeal by the defence, which argued that Šiško's conduct did not amount to instigation to the subversion of the constitutional order, the crime Šiško is suspected of.

Save for a brief intermission, Šiško has been in detention since early September, a week after video surfaced of him lining up several dozen men, some armed, wearing balaclavas and conducting what appeared to be basic military training.

Šiško, a former ultras who served prison for attempted murder, has argued that this was a provocation meant to disclose how Slovenian media work, but at the same time he called for the establishment of other such militias around the country.

Related: Andrej Šiško – Football Fan, Attempted Murderer, Presidential Candidate and Paramilitary Commander

The Supreme Court said the suspect's conduct, from the utterance of a threat against then Prime Minister Miro Cerar in January 2017 to the formation of the para-military unit, was sufficient at this point in proceedings to warrant his detention.

In making the decision, the court went against the argument of the prosecution, which held that whether Šiško should be remanded in detention should be re-examined by lower courts.

The prosecution's 27 September opinion caused uproar. It was penned by Supreme State Prosecutor Barbara Brezigar, who has for years been close to the opposition Democrats (SDS) and once ran for president with their support; one of Šiško's co-defendants was a member of the SDS's youth wing.

While Šiško is in detention, the investigation continues. Darko Simonič, the head of the Maribor branch of the State Prosecution, told the STA earlier this week that additional witnesses would be interviewed next week.

Šiško has been active in politics for years and ran in last year's presidential election. This year he is one of 18 candidates for mayor of Maribor.

Related: Football Fans, Skinheads, Neo-Nazis & Militias, a Brief Look at Far-Right Groups in Slovenia

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