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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Two People That Work Closely With the New Face of the Left, Golob, Have Been Accused of a Fraudulent Apartment Sale!

By: Peter Truden

The web portal Siol published an exclusive story about the controversial sale of an apartment in Ljubljana, in which two men who work closely with the latest new face of the left-wing political pole, Robert Golob, were involved – namely, the former Chairman of the Management Board of the energy company Elektro Ljubljana, Andrej Ribič, and the Chief Executive Officer of another energy company, Elektro Energija, Bojan Kumer. Both Kumer and Ribič are also important members of Golob’s party, the Freedom Movement (Gibanje Svoboda) and the criminal complaint against them was filed with the Ljubljana District Prosecutor’s Office.

The web portal Siol has obtained exclusive documents on the unusual sale of a 60-square-meter apartment on Adamičeva Street in Ljubljana, which was sold for a much lower price than other comparable apartments on the market.

Andrej Ribič, the former Chairman of the Management Board of the energy company Elektro Ljubljana, and Martina Pohar, a lawyer from the same company, are being accused of a fraudulent underselling of the apartment in question. And the buyer of the apartment is none other than Bojan Kumer, the Chief Executive Officer of another energy company, Elektro Energija.
In addition to being the CEO, Kumer was also formerly a State Secretary at the Ministry of Infrastructure. He was also employed there when Alenka Bratušek was the Prime Minister.
Meanwhile, Andrej Ribič was also the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the GEN-EL energy company but was then dismissed in November 2021, as Ribič and Robert Golob allegedly initiated the proceedings for the selling of shares in the GEN-EL joint venture without the knowledge of the Gen energija company, which is the largest partner of GEN-I, and also without the knowledge of supervisors of Elektro Ljubljana, as well as Slovenian Sovereign Holding or the Ministry of Infrastructure.
And Martina Pohar is the lawyer from Elektro Ljubljana and the director of the GEN-EL Investments company, who is also the wife of one of the most influential lawyers and partners in the Čeferin Law Firm, Andrej Pohar.

How did the sale of the apartment happen?

  • The apartment on Adamičeva Street 18 in Ljubljana is located on the second floor, is measured at 60.8 square meters, and also has a basement space. In 2016, it was owned by the company Elektro Ljubljana.
  • On Friday, the 16th of September 2016, Martina Pohar coordinated and commissioned the preparation of the apartment appraisal.
  • The appraisal report was prepared three days later, on Monday, the 19th of September 2016. At that time, an inspection of the apartment was also carried out. The appraisal was performed by Alenka Zornada, who estimated the value of the apartment at 85 thousand euros.
  • On the 20th of September 2016, Martina Pohar prepared a rental agreement. However, an appraisal report is not required for the lease agreement.
  • On the 21st of September 2016, the contract was signed by Andrej Ribič, on behalf of the Elektro Ljubljana company, and Bojan Kumer as the tenant.
  • On the 3rd of October 2016, Andrej Ribič signed a direct purchase agreement for the same apartment. The buyer was Bojan Kumer, as he had a pre-emption right as the tenant. The amount of the purchase price was 85 thousand euros (however, the market value was supposedly over 127 thousand euros).

What does the criminal complaint include?
Andrej Ribič is being accused of concluding a fictitious lease agreement with Bojan Kumer, with which Kumer allegedly acquired the pre-emption right. Ribič is also accused of harming the company Elektro Ljubljana, as the purchase price of 85 thousand euros is much lower than the actual market value of the apartment, which supposedly amounts to more than 127 thousand euros, meaning that the created difference is more than 42 thousand euros. The Management Board of Elektro Ljubljana is also required to obtain the consent of the Supervisory Board in the case of the purchase, sale or other exchange or encumbrance of real estate and capital investments above the gross value of 50 thousand euros. However, Ribič allegedly did not obtain the permission of the supervisory board for the sale in question, and as a result of it, he was accused of abusing his position and exceeding his authority.

Martina Pohar is being accused of aiding and abetting the criminal offence of abuse of position or trust in economic activity as she prepared the contracts, namely, a fictitious lease agreement and a sales contract.

In 2016, another important deal was concluded
In 2016, the Agency for the Protection of Competition also issued a merger permit to public electricity supply companies. The merger of the Elektro Energija and Gen-I companies meant that the electricity market got its largest retailer yet, which still controls about 40 percent of the market today, Planet reported some time ago. The largest electricity company in the country, Elektro Ljubljana, led at the time by Andrej Ribič, sold its subsidiary Elektro energija, led by Bojan Kumer, to GEN-I, led by Robert Golob. The procedure was carried out in a complex way through GEN-EL, whose director is still Martina Pohar.

No financial transaction took place in the sale, but the two companies exchanged shares. GEN-I thus took over the entire, 100 percent share of Elektro energija, and in return, they allocated the company Elektro Ljubljana a 12.5 percent share of their company. However, some complications arose here: according to unofficial information from Planet, Elektro energija was initially estimated to be worth 23 million euros, and GEN-I then took over 11.5 million euros. That is a good ten million euros less and barely 55 percent of the unofficial first estimate.

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