Slovenia: Hoče Confectioner Gets 15-Month Suspended Sentence in Cannabis Cookies Retrial

STA, 18 July 2022 – A retrial in the case of the confectioner from Hoče near Maribor, who was found guilty in 2020 for lacing cookies with cannabis and selling them to unsuspecting customers, has resulted in the court finding Niko Štekar guilty and handing him a 15-month suspended prison sentence, according to the newspaper Večer.

The Maribor District Court found Štekar guilty of baking cannabis-laced cookies for Zlatko Babič, a retired health inspector, and later serving them to regular but unsuspecting customers, failing to inform them of the nature of the butter Babič provided as part of a cookie baking request.

Two of the customers ended up seeking medical assistance for THC poisoning after eating a substantial amount of the cookies.

The first-instance ruling was later upheld by a higher court, so it became final, but the defence had the ruling overturned by the Supreme Court earlier this year. The Supreme Court ruled that the case should be retried before a different judge.

In the first trial, Babič also faced charges over the manufacture of narcotic drugs, but the judge found him not guilty and agreed that Babič meant to use the cannabis-laced butter he delivered to Štekar for personal use in order to alleviate health issues.

According to Večer, Štekar still maintains he was not aware the butter contained cannabis, whereas Babič claims he made this clear upon making the cookie-baking request.

The defendant’s life companion corroborated his claims by saying she saw the cookie dough in the fridge and did not suspect it to be laced with anything, but this failed to convince either the prosecutor or the judge Mateja Kamenšek Gornik, who upheld the first-instance verdict and found Štekar guilty.

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