STA, 3 March 2020 - Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Janković and six co-defendants pleaded not guilty in a case focussing on EU funds abuse and bank fraud in the construction of the Stožice sports complex as they faced the Ljubljana District Court on Tuesday.
A total of nine defendants are accused of criminal acts, including abuse of office, fraud of EU funds, fraud to acquire a loan and forgery of documents in the multi-million euro project.
Janković argued that the criminal cases brought against him stemming from the Stožice project were a personal attack on him. Apart from his family, his coworkers have also been drawn into this, he said, adding that the company that built the complex went bankrupt.
"You won't be able to find anybody who would have done it cheaper or better," he said, also noting that the Stožice stadium and arena had opened their doors a decade ago and that they attracted a million visitors a year.
The defendants are former sports institute Zavod Tivoli president Roman Jakič, Uroš Ogrin and Zlatko Sraka, both of the bankrupt construction vehicle company Grep, and Samo Lozej, former director the municipal operator of parking lots and markets. Also among the accused are former construction overseers Borut Skubic and Milan Črepinšek.
Marko Kolenc, of the city's sports department, and project manager Andrej Lavrič did not attend today's hearing and are to make a plea next time. The charges will be presented in more detail at the beginning of the trial.
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