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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

The investigative commission on the C0 case will take criminal action: Did an employee of the Ljubljana Municipality protect Janković by lying?

By: C. R. 

The president of the parliamentary investigative commission regarding the C0 canal project, Anja Bah Žibert, will report the Ljubljana municipality employee, Špela Mazej, to the law enforcement authorities. She accuses her of false testimony, claiming that she told the commission that she had never acted on instructions from Mayor Zoran Janković, while recordings obtained by the commission show the opposite.

According to Anja Bah Žibert’s explanation, Špela Mazej was questioned based on information that she visited the homes of individual landowners along the route of the C0 canal and discussed the interests of the City Municipality of Ljubljana (Mol) and, on the other hand, the interests of the landowners. “The fact is that during the investigative commission, we specifically asked Ms. Špela Mazej about her actions, her activities, and everything else related to her work and, of course, to the investigative commission,” Bah Žibert emphasised.

During the hearing, according to the commission president, Mazej claimed that she had never acted on Mayor Zoran Janković’s instructions, but the recordings subsequently obtained by the commission show the opposite. “Not only did the lady act on Mayor Janković’s instructions, but she informed him about it continuously,” said the SDS member at today’s press conference. “In fact, she behaved like a real estate agent. This would not be a problem if she were working for her own money, but she was doing this with public funds. She negotiated how much they could pay for certain land or what its value was,” she said.

Bah Žibert finds it “extremely questionable” that Mazej spoke about landowners receiving compensation if they waive the legal option to participate in discussions at administrative units, “meaning, it is not about compensation for land use, but for compensation if they waive their legal right to defend themselves”. The SDS member also emphasised that Mazej knew in advance that a certain building permit would be issued.

The recordings, based on which Bah Žibert decided to report the criminal offense, were obtained by the commission from two landowners, a father and son. There are three recordings, from which, as Bah Žibert reiterated, it emerges that Mazej acted on the authority of the mayor. “They agreed on how much the mayor was willing to provide in public funds for a piece of land, meaning outside of any price and contract. First, let’s agree, then we will sign something,” the MP summarised. Bah Žibert hopes that the competent law enforcement authorities will respond “as they should”. “This is another in a series of actions and operations of the City Municipality of Ljubljana with Zoran Janković at the helm, which demands that the responsible state halt the construction of this canal immediately and clarify all matters. This is simply not acceptable; otherwise, we have the usurpation of a mayor over the entire state,” she criticised.

The commission establishes political responsibility and other responsibility of holders of public functions due to suspicion of political interference in the construction of the public connecting canal C0 and suspicion that the procedures in this regard were conducted opaquely, unlawfully, and by circumventing legislation.

The connecting canal C0 will link the sewage systems of Medvode and Vodice with the central Ljubljana sewage treatment plant and is part of the €111 million project Sewage Collection and Treatment in the Ljubljana Polje Aquifer Area, for which Slovenia also received European funds and which was supposed to be completed by 2021.

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