News roundup - Thursday, 19 January, until 3 pm

Ljubljana, 19 January - Below is a roundup of major events on Thursday, 19 January, until 3 pm local time:

Majority of defendants in Balkan Warrior drug trial plead guilty

LJUBLJANA - The majority of the defendants in the Balkan Warrior drug trafficking case, including chief defendant Dragan Tošić, have pleaded guilty, news portal reported. In what is already the third trial in the case, the prosecution is proposing sentences equal to the time already spent in prison. According to, the judge has already received confessions from Tosić and Jakob Remškar, while more are to be processed on Monday.

Respect for international law crucial for peace, minister says

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia is strongly convinced that the full respect of international law is crucial for preserving international peace, security and stability, Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon said as she addressed a conference entitled Humanitarian Crises, Critical Infrastructure and Environmental Protection in Armed Conflict and Peacebuilding: Legal Challenges of the 21st Century, hosted by the Centre of Excellence in Finance (CEF).

Watchdog finds no conflict of interest in Ljubljana health centre boss

LJUBLJANA - The Commission for the Prevention of Corruption (KPK) did not confirm any suspicion of conflict of interest involving Antonija Poplas Susič, director of the Ljubljana Community Health Centre. The KPK opened the procedure against Poplas Susič after receiving a complaint against her last December, while it processed a similar complaint in 2020, when it also established no integrity infringements. The centre and its leadership have been criticised lately as many patients have been left without their named GP.

Črnčec, Glavaš to attend Ukraine Defence Contact Group session

LJUBLJANA - The Defence Ministry said that its State Secretary Damir Črnčec and the Slovenian Armed Forces chief-of-staff, Maj-Gen Robert Glavaš, will attend the third session of the Ukraine Defence Contact Group at Ramstein Air Base in Germany on Friday.

Đorđević's bid for Supreme Court president passes first hurdle in parliament

LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Credentials and Privileges Commission backed Miodrag Đorđević's candidacy for Supreme Court president before it is put to a vote at next week's plenary session. Justice Minister Dominika Švarc Pipan meanwhile announced new legislation to exclude parliament from appointment procedures regarding Supreme Court judges.

Slovenian MEPs call for parliament tours in Slovenian

BRUSSELS, Belgium - Slovenian MEPs called for tours of the European Parliament to be held in Slovenian again in a letter to EU officials. They noted that Slovenian is one of the languages that is often discriminated against in the European Parliament.

More employees in judiciary request bonuses

LJUBLJANA - After the government promised EUR 600 gross monthly bonuses to judges and public prosecutors, the remaining employees in the judiciary have asked for bonuses amounting to half of that sum, otherwise they could stop working overtime and perform the minimum amount of work stipulated by law.

Public health insurance fund rejects blame for state of healthcare

LJUBLJANA - The ZZZS public health insurance fund strongly rejected government accusations of siphoning off funds, corruption and data concealing, which were made as part of a review of healthcare in preparation of a reform. The ZZZS said it operated in line with the law and was "the most controlled institution in Slovenia".

First funds for just transition of coal regions available in March

LJUBLJANA - State Secretary Marko Koprivc from the Government Office for Development and EU Cohesion Policy said the Savinjsko-Saleška region, which is to abandon coal by 2033, should get the first funds for just transition in March, as he spoke at a conference on the region's restructuring. Over EUR 250 million will be available.

Church of Slovenian Protestant community in Bethlehem, US, being sold

NEW YORK, US - The Slovenian Protestant community in the US town of Bethlehem in Pennsylvania will soon be left without its St John's church building, which is being sold more than 110 years after being built by the community. The town's Slovenian Catholics are in the process of losing their church as well. The story of the two communities has been closely tied to historical developments, dating back to the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century when immigrants, in particular from Central Europe, were arriving en masse to work at the Bethlehem steel plant.

Man gets 30 years for killing mother, attempted murder of father

CELJE - A 38-year-old man was sentenced to 30 years in prison by the Celje District Court for stabbing his mother to death and attempting to murder his father in March 2021 at their home in the village of Zalog pri Šempetru. Gregor Ducman pleaded not guilty, got 26 years in prison for the murder of his mother and 15 years for the attempted murder of his father, for an aggregate sentence of 30 years. The ruling is not yet final.

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