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Slovene PM, Catholic Church clash over bribery
Slovenia PM in row with Catholic Church after criticizing bishop's comments on bribery trial
Associated Press
2014-07-08 11:01 PM

LJUBLJANA, Slovenia (AP) -- Slovenia's left-leaning prime minister is in a dispute with local Catholic leaders after she complained to the Vatican about a bishop's criticism of a bribery conviction handed down to a conservative ex-premier.

Prime Minister Alenka Bratusek sent a diplomatic note last week urging the Vatican's intervention after a top bishop suggested the corruption verdict against former Prime Minister Janez Jansa was politically motivated. Bratusek has said such comments from church dignitaries aim to influence the judiciary.

There has been no comment from the Vatican on the issue. But on Tuesday, another Slovenian Catholic bishop, Peter Stumf, accused Bratusek of seeking to "deceive" the pope and score political points.

Jansa is serving a two-year prison term for bribery in a 2006 deal with a Finnish arms company.

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