By Andrej Žitnik (Nova24tv.si)
Acting director general of the police, Boštjan Lindav, authorised Darko Muženič, an old acquaintance of Slovenian criminal proceedings that have never been completed, to head the National Investigation Office (NPU), which operates within the Criminal Police Directorate.
Darko Muženič took over the position of director of the NPU on June 1st, 2019, during Šarec’s government, but on May 6th, 2020, he was dismissed from this position and transferred to the leadership of the police, and before that he held the position of director of the Office of the Prevention of Money Laundering.
The police, which – since Tatjana Bobnar – Boštjan Lindav connection took over – has been extremely activist in terms of communication trends – remember how they announced that the police cannon “will now help people” when they sent it to the Karst. This time, they created an unlikely eulogy – they wrote that Muženič is “known to the external and internal public for his professionalism and sovereign management policy.”
Given that this is a person who is being investigated by the European Public Prosecutor’s Office for a criminal act, it is all the more unusual that Lindav decided to make such a move.
Leading police officer accused of criminal acts
We remind you that the Director of the Office of the Prevention of Money Laundering, Damjan Žugelj, filed a criminal complaint with the European Public Prosecutor’s Office against the (then still) former director of the NPU Muženič on the suspicion that he had damaged the funds of the European Union for 60 thousand euros. It is said to be four criminal acts, where Muženič allegedly misused European funds and obtained a financial benefit in the amount of 60 thousand euros from a group of suspects, namely by abusing a public tender, where, despite the formal tender, he entrusted the NPU order to the private company Mirkografija Ltd. In doing so, it is said that he was revealed by the manuscript.
Of course, everyone is innocent until proven guilty. However, it is such a sensitive situation where it should be self-evident, not only that the director candidate should not be legally convicted, but also that no official proceedings should be conducted against him, where he is suspected of a criminal act.
He appeared in public as a representative of the transitional left
Muženič is otherwise one of those Slovenian experts in a position that, like the former president of the audit court Tomaž Vesel – who after the end of his term took a job with tycoon Martin Odlazek – raises enormous doubts about his political impartiality and professional neutrality. During the previous government, he behaved more like a representative of the failed KUL coalition than an independent expert. After the start of the staged “masks and respirators” affair, he was a guest in the POP TV studio, where he commented on the notorious political operative Ivan Gale, saying that “Gale is extremely brave for exposing himself and drawing attention to alleged irregularities. In such cases, the police do not leave people to their own devices, but their safety is adequately taken care of”.
Of course, Muženič could not judge on the first ball whether Gale was telling the truth, so he should have taken a neutral position. But he acted as if Gale’s claims were already proven and that the police would offer him protection. It later turned out that Gale was an ordinary politician who was judged by the court to have justifiably lost his job, and then went into politics himself. Muženič, like some amateur, too clearly showed his political bias, which we did not doubt before.
Namely, when Muženič was still the director of the Office for the Prevention of Money Laundering, the “NLB Iran Gate” scandal of global proportions came to light, when Slovenian bank officials, in all probability with the knowledge of management and politics, transferred money to Iranian extremist operatives, who were settled in Europe. At that time, Logar’s investigative commission presented such convincing evidence that it was only a matter of time before someone went behind bars. But Muženič dismissed all the accusations and then – perhaps as a reward – became the director of the NPU. Ljubljana’s criminal underworld probably breathed a sigh of relief. As well as Zoran Janković against whom the NPU is conducting a bunch of investigations, which we all know in advance will be a dead end.