By Sara Rančigaj
In Slovenia anything is possible including the fact that some are persecuted for a piece of prosciutto or a night in a hotel, while other “chosen ones” are allowed to earn a million euros on the side. We highlight the case of Tomaž Vesel, for whom the CPC decided he did not violate the Integrity Act, despite lying to the public about the existence of a document proving that the CPC had approved him to perform additional activities. The document has never been seen by the public, and a question arises as to whether the president of the Court of Audit is really a credible person.
The Commission for the Prevention of Corruption has concluded its consideration of the suspicion of incompatibility of the function of the President of the Court of Audit Tomaž Vesel with the performance of the function of the Chairman of the Audit and Compliance Committee at the International Football Association. According to them, Vesel did not violate the Integrity and Prevention of Corruption Act, after which the proceedings against him were stopped. According to them, the Integrity and Prevention of Corruption Act does not prohibit a professional official from performing the function of a member of the supervisory board in the said institution. They also wrote in the explanation, among other things, that the amount at Fifa (approximately EUR 250 thousand gross) is not relevant and does not play the criterion of assessment. First-class in this country can obviously make additional millions.
The position of president of the Court of Audit is one of the highest positions in the country, and many are critical that Vesel’s position is by no means compatible. Months ago, a real saga of deception took place in the public even by Vesel, who was not able to show a document where it would be clearly written that the CPC had approved him to perform additional activities. The former president of the CPC, Boris Štefanec, also faked ignorance, and did not show the mentioned document, and the CPC replied that they could not find the document. Despite the CPC’s claim that Vesel is not breaking the law, he should still consider the morality of Vesel’s action when he claimed to have a certificate. The president of the Court of Audit must be credible in the first place, but he has failed here.
CPC hypocrisy: Some are persecuted for 400 euros, others can earn fat earnings
Let us recall the case of former Minister of Agriculture Aleksandra Pivec, who was accused by the CPC of violating the same law. The statement stated that Pivec violated the integrity as defined in point 3 of Article 4 of the Integrity and Prevention of Corruption Act (ZIntPK), and in two cases violated the first paragraph in connection with the third and fifth paragraphs of Article 30 of the ZIntPK, which defines prohibitions and restrictions on the acceptance of gifts. Pivec later rejected all allegations: “It is inadmissible for state institutions (CPC) to violate legal provisions and interfere with the constitutional rights of individuals by disrespecting the law and selectively disclosing their findings,” said Aleksandra Pivec at the time.
Pivec is convinced that they were ready to abuse state institutions for the abuse of her good name and her media-political death. The investigation of the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption, based on the evidence and explanations of the former president of DeSUS, found only in the second draft of the report that Pivec paid all the costs of overnight stays at the Hotel Marina in Izola. Nevertheless, the CPC refuses to include this indisputable fact, which she found herself during the investigation, in the operative part of her findings. In investigating the cases in which Pivec was discredited with negative media coverage for three months, CPC found that she had not benefited from the aforementioned address.
Meanwhile, the president of the Court of Audit, Tomaž Vesel, has received a quarter of a million euros every year for more than four years, and the anti-corruption commission has only just initiated proceedings and closed them. Vesel also told the media that he deserves an apology in this case. He forgets the fact that he misled the public with an unseen document for several months, and the Prime Minister Janez Janša was also critical by emphasising that EUR 250,000 in side earnings is not a problem if it is for first-class. “But the problem will be one prosciutto with the minister or 40 euros with the mayor,” he stressed.
It is interesting that the CPC defined the performance of Vesel’s function as performing a sports activity, which is not true, as he performs the work of an auditor who has absolutely no connection with sports. In contrast to Pivec, they also found that in this case the amount of payment was not relevant, as it did not represent an assessment criterion. Professor of political science Miro Haček also reacted critically on Twitter. “200 thousand a year is not a problem for first-class and is not even a gainful activity, while for second-class and non-ours 400 euros is already a terrible problem and a reason for resignation. This is unfortunately our rule of law,” he said. It seems that the highest officials can receive any kind of payment, which clearly shows the level of moral values in Slovenia.