STA, 8 March 2019 - The Ljubljana Local Court has slapped the opposition Democrats (SDS) with a fine of EUR 20,000 for violating the political parties act in the hiring of two loans, the commercial broadcaster POP TV reported on Friday. SDS head Janez Janša was slapped with a EUR 2,000 fine. The party has reportedly already announced an appeal.
The SDS was indicted by the Court of Audit in March 2018 over two contentious loans it took out in 2017.
The party came under fire in January 2018 for closing a deal on a EUR 450,000 loan from a Bosnian national at the end of 2017, and borrowing EUR 60,000 from the publisher Nova Obzorja in August 2017.
This runs contrary to the provision that parties can only borrow from banks, savings banks and a limited amount of money from individuals.
Under the loan agreement with Bosnian Diana Đuđić, the 32-year-old was obligated to pay out the loan in three instalments of EUR 150,000.
The law puts the ceiling for party loans from individuals at ten times the value of the average gross monthly pay or around EUR 15,800 per year.
Less than two weeks after the scandal broke out, media reported of the loan the SDS took from Nova Obzorja, in which the party holds a 44.2% stake. The stake was also put up as collateral in the loan secured with Đuđić but was later put up for sale.
Nova Obzorja issues the weekly Demokracija and tabloid Škandal24.
The SDS returned the first instalment it received from Đuđić with interest in January 2018 but this did not stop the procedure against the party.
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