Correction: Slovenia-Jansa story
LJUBLJANA, Slovenia (AP) — In a story June 20 about the prison sentence for former Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa, The Associated Press reported erroneously that Jansa was convicted of accepting a bribe while in office. He was convicted of agreeing to accept a bribe. A corrected version of the story is below:
Ex-Slovenian leader begins prison term for bribery
Slovenia’s ex-leader Jansa starts 2-year prison sentence for bribery in Finnish arms deal
By ALI ZERDIN
LJUBLJANA, Slovenia (AP) — Slovenia’s former Prime Minister Janez Jansa went to prison Friday to begin a two-year sentence for bribery in an arms deal with a Finnish company.
Some 2,000 supporters gathered outside the Dob prison, near the capital Ljubljana, as Jansa went inside. Some carried banners comparing him to South Africa’s late President Nelson Mandela.
Jansa, addressing the crowd, urged them to vote for his Slovenian Democratic Party in July 13 elections.
“On that day, we must paint Slovenia in the colors of freedom and justice,” declared Jansa, who served as prime minister twice following Slovenia’s 1991 independence from Yugoslavia.
Jansa and two others were convicted last year of “accepting promise of an award” for his SDS party, of about 2 million euros ($2.7 million) in bribes while in office to help the Finnish firm Patria win a 2006 contract for 135 armored personnel carriers worth 278 million euros ($377 million).
The verdict said 2.3 million euros was transferred to an intermediary’s account, but not the account of Jansa’s party.
He previously was imprisoned for several months in Dob in 1988 and 1989 when he was convicted for allegedly disclosing military secrets. That verdict was widely seen as politically motivated and triggered a wave of demonstrations.
He again has denied he is guilty of any offense.
Associated Press reporter Jovana Gec in Belgrade, Serbia, contributed to this report.