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Friday, September 30, 2022

Who is Zoran Stevanović, Organiser of the Violent Protests? He Bought Furniture and Hired a Lawyer at the Expense of the Municipality

By: Sara Kovač / Nova24tv

Wednesday’s anti-vaccination protests eventually became violent – police officers had to use a water cannon and tear gas against the protesters. This time, the unreported protests were organised by the Kranj City Councillor Zoran Stevanović, who registered the new political party Resni.ca (the Truth) this year. However, after yesterday’s events, information is coming to light that suggests the party should have a different name, and Stevanović is allegedly also being sued by the Municipality of Kranj.

On Wednesday, anti-vaccination protests, which were organised by Zoran Stevanović, took place in Ljubljana. In the end, the protests turned violent and were thus very reminiscent of last year’s protests that happened on the 5th of November. Stevanović is a city councillor from Kranj, who registered a new political party, Resni.ca (the Truth), at the beginning of the year, as he sensed that he could get quite a few votes from this particular group. Although he claimed to be an anti-vaxxer a while ago, he later changed his mind and now says that he is in favour of free choice when it comes to vaccination – so now he covers a larger share of the electorate than he would have if he only limited himself to the anti-vaxxers. He used to be a member of the Slovenian National Party, but now its president, Zmago Jelinčič, says that he does not want to have anything to do with Stevanović anymore. This fact alone is quite telling.

Our editorial office has received information that Stevanović supposedly “borrowed” funds to pay for legal services, but we did not receive any information about whether or not he had already paid this money back, as it was intended for the operation of the council group in the budget. He supposedly spent 2,500 euros on legal services – however, not for the needs of the council group, but for himself. Namely, the Deputy Mayor of Kranj, Janez Černe, sued Stevanović for false claims, and Stevanović lost. To find out whether or not this is true, we, of course, turned to Stevanović himself. He replied that the information was a lie. “You cannot borrow money from the budget,” he wrote, “because council funds are intended for the operating of council groups.” “Since I needed legal protection due to the public council speech, I was able to obtain the funds from the fund of the council group Resni.ca. The purchase order was signed by the mayor of Rakovec,” he explained, adding that he had won the legal proceedings and that he should therefore be reimbursed, which is when the money will be returned and redistributed to the councillors’ account. Certain sources have told us that Stevanović did not actually win in court, but we cannot confirm this information at this time. In addition, the truth of hits other statements is also questionable.

Stevanović is allegedly also being sued by the Municipality of Kranj
What is also interesting about Stevanović’s story is that we can find information online about Stevanović being sued by the Municipality of Kranj. Allegedly because he appropriated more than two thousand euros for his legal fees from the public budget. “The Municipality of Kranj has filed a lawsuit against the city councillor of the Resnica party, Zoran Stevanović, for not returning the money he ‘took’ from the budget for personal litigation costs,” is what is written on the website, with the additional explanation that Stevanović allegedly got caught up in a messy situation with the mayor and deputy mayor, which was further complicated by the accusations he has made, and the fact that he allegedly already lost one of the lawsuits and now has to pay 2,500 euros. The municipality first called on the city councillor to return the money because the rules on the use of funds for city councillors do not provide for the possibility of spending for this purpose. Namely, Stevanović used the funds from the budget intended for councillor groups. We sent some relevant press questions to the deputy mayor of Kranj, as well as to the Mayor of Kranj, Matjaž Rakovec, and the municipality itself, and we will publish the answers as soon as we receive them.

Stevanović allegedly also appropriated furniture and the premises, which are paid for by the Municipality of Kranj
Last year, the website Trma.si (“trma” meaning stubbornness) reported that the councillor premises Zoran za Kranj (Zoran for Kranj) are located in a building in the centre of Kranj, for which the councillor group pays approximately 500 euros a month in rent to the building owner. According to the record, the councillor group paid somewhere around two thousand euros for new furniture, and after that, any trace of the new furniture was gone. Until the 1st of April 2020, there was no furniture in these premises, which was bought in 2019 from the company Mizeraj from Kranj. Stevanović did not want to answer any questions related to this topic. Well, a while later, it turned out that at least part of this furniture is at Stevanović’s home in Stražišče. This was also confirmed by the Municipality of Kranj. But the story did not end there. In the meantime, Stevanović registered a political party but kept the same premises for this purpose. “The Resni.ca party is not the same as the Zoran for Kranj group, for which the Municipality of Kranj is paying rent in the same building. What is more, the Kranj Municipality cannot and should not pay any rent instead of the party because it did not participate in the 2018 elections at all,” they pointed out on the website. They also emphasised that any attempt of getting the Kranj taxpayers to finance a party that has no (political) connection with the Kranj Municipality could also constitute a crime related to the city budget.

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