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3,249 people killed, 225,551 injured and over $288,390,000 in economic damages

Because there are very few English news outlets in Slovenia, and web services to translate from Slovene are currently rather poor, these news stories were translated from Slovene by Jan Kalin & Tim Farley, using machine assistance. We apologize in advance for inevitable errors in translation. Links to the original stories are provided.


Physician Darja Eržen's trial to continue in January

Finance.si (via STA - Slovenian Press Agency)
Original story (in Slovene):

Published: November 16, 2001 11:49
Updated: November 16, 2001 13:48

In yesterday's continued trial of physician Darja Eržen, who is accused of violating the health code, the judge excluded the public from the trial because the testimony of the deceased patient's wife was about private matters. After a recess the judge informed the prosecution and defense that the trial will resume January 31st of next year, when he will hear the testimony of all previous witnesses and the deceased's coworkers.

The indictment by state prosecutor Francka Slivnik accuses Eržen of breaking the health code, when she advised homeopathic drops as a prophylactic against malaria to Janeza Podgoršek in 1996 before a trip to Africa. This is in opposition to valid medical doctrine. Podgoršek fell ill with malaria upon return from Africa and later died. The Medical Chamber of Slovenia also discussed the case in 1996, and as a result Eržen was the first Slovenian physician to have her license taken away.


For the second time, a conditional sentence

Gorenjski Glas
Original story (in Slovene):

Friday, March 14, 2008
Author: Simon Šubic
Photo: Gorazd Kavcic, archives

Former homeopath Darja Eržen was sentenced to eight months of imprisonment conditioned upon a two year parole, after a retrial over a death by negligence.

Kranj - Former physician and homoepath Darja Eržen, aged 50 of Zgornje Jezersko, was sentenced by the Senate of Kranj district court to the same sentence as six years ago - eight months imprisonment contingent upon successful completion of a two year parole. According to the court she negligently caused the death Janez Podgoršek of Trboje via a homeopathic treatment for malaria. The decision satisfied the district state prosecutor Renato Vodnjov, but defense attorney Darja Roblek disagreed. "We will appeal, and if we are a lawful country, it will be overturned" the attorney predicted. She said all during the trial that the criminal prosecution of the former homeopath expired due to the statute of limitations.

On release of the court's decision Tuesday, district judge Marjeta Dvornik said Darja Eržen was charged as a physician of general medicine of using homeopathic techniques to treat the malaria of Janeza Podgoršek of Trboje in November 2006 [sic], disobeying health standards, the law and the medical code. The treatment continued as his condition worsened. The evening before his death an ambulance already on its way to Trboje was recalled before it could take the severely ill Podgoršek to the Clinic for Infectious Diseases in Ljubljani. The prosecutor's office introduced enough strong evidence to justify the repeated conviction according to the court. It was not allowed to introduce its key evidence - the personal notes of Eržen concerning the course of treatment. Because the police had obtained these notes illegally, the court barred their use. This was also the reason for the retrial.

At the first trial in Kranj in 2002, Eržen was sentenced to eight months imprisonment contingent upon a two year parole. The defense appealed, but the higher court in Ljubljani affirmed the decision in the autumn of the same year, and increased the parole to three years. Defense attorney Darja Roblek appealed to the supreme court based on the legality of the law, and it was remanded to the lower court. Retrial was first presided over by judge Katarina Turk Lukan, but she recused herself from the proceedings because she saw tainted evidence. At this point judge Marjeta Dvornik took over the trial. The accused did not participate in the trial. The attorney said the statue of limitations are past expiration, and she filed an appeal of the constitutionality of the Criminal Procedure Act in the constitutional court in January of last year. Despite priority treatment of the case the constitutional court has not yet rendered a decision.

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