Slovenia ex-premier gets brief prison furlough

LJUBLJANA, Slovenia (AP) -- Slovenian ex-Prime Minister Janez Jansa was granted a brief prison furlough on Friday to attend the country's first parliamentary session after he won a seat in last month's election.

Jansa, leader of the opposition Slovene Democratic Party, has been serving a two-year sentence for bribery since June. He arrived unescorted to the parliamentary session as several hundred supporters gathered outside the building. He was expected to return to prison once the session ends.

Slovenia's laws don't formally ban a prisoner from running for the 90-member parliament, but there have been calls that Jansa be stripped of his seat based on a separate legal provision that envisages any lawmaker lose his seat if convicted to more than six months in prison during his term.

It wasn't immediately clear when parliament could take up the issue.

Jansa has insisted that his trial was political. In a brief speech to supporters, Jansa urged the crowd to keep up the protests, telling them that "when we know we are right, we must persist."

Jansa's last government fell in 2013 after the state corruption watchdog accused him of failing to declare assets.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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