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Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Unprecedented in the EU! Charges Against Jakič for Suspected Fraud at EU Expense are Final, European Commissioner Bulc Endorses Him Anyway!

This is unprecedented in the European Union. The European Commissioner Violeta Bulc came to Brussels thanks to the government of Miro Cerar. She praised Roman Jakič on social networks, although Jakič is suspected of fraud to the detriment of the EU and is to appear in court within this year.

 

On September 29, the Slovenian press agency (STA) reported on the final verdict against the Mayor of Ljubljana Zoran Janković and eight other co-accused in the Stožice case. Among the eight co-accused is also Roman Jakič, who is suspected of fraud to the detriment of the EU, when he was the Director of the Tivoli Institute. The Office of the State Prosecutor General of the Republic of Slovenia, as reported by STA, filed the indictment on May 18 of this year, that is, six years after the first house searches took place. The accused filed objections, which were rejected by the court.

The prosecution accused nine persons of several criminal offenses, including official abuse of power or abuse of official rights, fraud to the detriment of the EU, deception in obtaining a loan or benefit, and falsifying or destroying business documents.

The Stožice Case
“In addition to Janković, the prosecution allegedly also accused former Defense Minister and former Tivoli Institute Director Roman Jakić, Uroš Ogrin and Zlatko Sraka from the Gradis-Energoplan (Grep) company, which built the Stožice Stadium, and the former Director of the Public Company Ljubljana Parking and Market, Samo Lozej, who has been running the Ljubljana Thermal Power Plant in recent years. In addition, the charges were allegedly filed against Marko Kolenc, the Head of the Municipal Department of Sport, Andrej Lavrič, Boris Skubic, and Milan Črepinšek. All nine of them filed objections, which an out-of-court panel of the District Court in Ljubljana has rejected as unfounded. Thus, the indictment became final on 19 September, awaiting the call for a pre-trial hearing, as explained by the Office of the State Prosecutor.”

The main players in the construction of the Stožice Stadium complex signed in 2010 the allegedly controversial contract worth 1.8 million euros for allegedly renting fictitious parking lots in Stožice. With this contract, Grep became creditworthy and could borrow a 50-million-euro loan from the state-owned bank Nova Ljubljanska banka (NLB). The Municipality of Ljubljana thus fulfilled the condition for obtaining European and state funds in the amount of 9.4 million euros.

House Searches
In September 2012, followed the house searches of the Janković family, and a year later they conducted new house searches at the homes of Ogrin, Sraka, Loze and Jakič. The District Court in Ljubljana, as stated on the personal website of Mayor Janković, ordered an investigation against him, on 20 April 2015, on the suspicion that he intentionally helped Ogrin and Sraka in committing the crime of deception in obtaining a loan from Grep at NLB and Factor banka banks. In addition, as the Mayor of Ljubljana, Janković submitted to the Ministry of Education and Sport a request for payment for co-financing the eligible costs incurred at the Stožice Stadium, attaching to it a fake assessment of the Grep company.

This is not, however, the first final indictment against Janković. The State Prosecutor’s indictment was also finalized for the alleged bribery of or receiving donations from the Gratel company, for the reconstruction of the Ljubljana castle, the daily newspaper Delo reported in May. A number of other pre-trial criminal proceedings have been opened against the Mayor of Ljubljana. However, in April last year, the Higher Court in Ljubljana acquitted Janković of the charges of misusing the position in the Niš case, from the time when he was the Chairman of the Management Board at the Mercator company.

Even Miro Cerar, the current Minister of Foreign Affairs in Šarec’s government, sided with Jakič on Twitter, although Jakič will soon stand accused for suspected fraud at the detriment of the EU.

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