STA, 7 December 2018 - The Maribor Prosecution Office has filed an indictment against Andrej Šiško, the leader of a para-military unit that call themselves the Štajerska Guard, who has been in custody since early September.
Darko Simonič, the head of the prosecution office, said the indictment, alleging instigation to the subversion of the constitutional order, was filed with the Maribor District Court on Thursday.
The prosecution also proposed for Šiško to be remanded in custody. The last monthly extension of his detention would expire on 12 December.
Once an indictment is filed, the court's pre-trial panel of judges may extend detention for up to two years.
"Considering that the court has always supported us on custody, except for the first investigating judge, there's probably no dilemma about custody. Nothing that would warrant a different conduct has happened in the meantime," Simonič said.
An armed militia was filmed in September
Šiško was apprehended on 6 September, three days after a video emerged of him lining up several dozen men, some armed, wearing balaclavas and conducting what appeared to be basic military training.
After extending his 48-hour detention twice, the investigating judge released him, but he was brought back into custody on 12 September after a court panel reverted the judge's decision.
The Supreme Court rejected his appeal against detention, upholding the lower courts' reasoning that there were reasonable grounds to believe the suspect formed a para-military unit and called for the formation of other militias across Slovenia that would, when the time was right, bring down the highest authorities of the state.
Šiško and his counsel Viktor Osim argued that Šiško's conduct did not amount to instigation to the subversion of constitutional order.
A colourful past, including jail time for attempted murder
Šiško, a former ultras leader who has served prison for attempted murder, argued the line-up was a provocation meant to disclose how Slovenian media work. However, he had called for the establishment of other such militias around the country.
The Supreme Court noted his past conduct, from the utterance of a threat against then Prime Minister Miro Cerar in January 2017 to the formation of the para-military unit.
Osim said today he was not surprised by the timing of the indictment, arguing that it would help the prosecution to avoid the decision on custody being taken by the Supreme Court.
He plans to appeal against the indictment at any case, although he had not yet been formally notified of it being filed.
Information available to him indicates that the indictment also concerns co-defendant Matej Lesjak, a former member of the youth wing of the Democratic Party (SDS) who allegedly filmed the paramilitary formation's training, but his lawyer Mihael Jenčič could not confirm the information for the STA because he had not yet received the indictment.
Osim had proposed taking witness statements from PM Marjan Šarec, his predecessor in office Miro Cerar and President Borut Pahor so they will be able to tell whether they felt threatened by Šiško.
Osim also proposes hearing Janez Janša, the leader of the opposition Democratic Party (SDS), who he said publicly proposed forming a national guard or a para-military formation back in 2015.
Šiško is the head of the non-parliamentary party United Slovenia. He stood in the 2017 presidential election, winning 2.21% of the vote. He also ran for Maribor mayor from detention last month, securing 1.43% of the vote.
All our stories on Andrej Šiško can be found here