30 years for murder

The Ljubljana District Court sentenced 38-year-old Silvo Plut to 30 years in prison for the brutal murder of Ljubica Ulcar and the attempted murder and maltreatment of Mirko Ulcar. Pluts lawyer Andrej Zabjek has already announced he would lodge an appeal and stressed that a prison sentence is unsuitable for a person who is so badly disturbed (as Plut). Zabjek believes Plut should be humanised, as suggested during the trial by Janez Rugelj, one of Slovenias most controversial psychiatrists. The prosecutor said she would not lodge an appeal, as the court had fully considered all the circumstances that affect the sentence. Although the court sentenced Plut to a total of 40 years and 5 months in prison - 30 for the brutal murder of Ljubica Ulcar, 10 for the attempted murder of her husband and a five months for the maltreatment of the latter - the highest sentence in Slovenia amounts to 30 years. Judge Barbara Trebec Debeljak also decreed that Plut would remain in custody until the verdict is final due to flight risk. Plut has been given 15 days after he receives the verdict to appeal at the Higher Court. Plut has a long history of criminal acts, including a 1998 conviction of rape and a 15-year sentence in 1990 for murdering a former schoolmate. He was released on probation after 13 years in prison. He is moreover sought on a murder charge in Serbia for the brutal killing of a 25-year old woman in November 2004. The murder of Ljubica Ulcar caused outrage in Slovenia, including calls for sanctions against those responsible for failing to treat Plut as a potential menace to society.


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