By: Domen Mezeg
“Decisions of the Constitutional Court are commented on in themselves. We have the Constitutional Court, where constitutional judges decide on themselves, decide on their sons, decide on their friends. We have been able to follow what is happening in the Constitutional Court in recent weeks. Even more than that: we could read that they make decisions without even opening the file or reading the case. They decide as a professional colleague tells them. This case is obvious because people wait for years for the decisions of the Constitutional Court, but if you are a first-class, that is, if you are Aleš Zalar or a companion of those close to him, then the Constitutional Court of course does not decide because they merely delay, but realises the matter within four days,” Aleš Hojs, the Minister of the Interior, explained the alarming situation.
“The 24ur web portal reported yesterday that the supervisors had already carried out an audit of five criminal investigations at the National Investigation Office, which was ordered by Interior Minister Aleš Hojs last year. The requested revision raised a lot of dust, as part of the policy claimed that it was illegal, because politics or a minister cannot interfere in criminal investigations conducted by the prosecution,” said the host of the show Luka Svetina. Minister Hojs ordered the investigations, among other things, because the two biggest scandals of the last ten years, IranNLBgate and the purchase of vascular splints, brought neither those responsible nor any conclusions. However, on the basis of a document obtained from the information representative, it can be concluded that the supervisors did not reach the conclusions that the politics wanted.
“Among other things, supervisors have supposedly found that the handling of classified information was appropriate in all cases examined.” Nevertheless, they pointed out certain deviations from the prescribed procedures, which did not have an impact on the professionalism and legality of the tasks performed. These were mainly administrative matters, recording of criminal offenses, and entering other data. At the end of the report, it was allegedly stated that in supervising the work of detecting and investigating crime, supervisors found that criminal investigators devote themselves comprehensively to extensive investigations. The irregularities that were identified in this area stem mainly from the lack of work organisation, direct control of leaders over employees, and inadequate review of the administrative operations of the unit. Therefore, they also proposed some measures to address the shortcomings.
This time, Svetina hosted Interior Minister Hojs in the studio. Firstly, Svetina wanted to hear whether the revision of the criminal investigation procedures had already been completed. He recalled that this was reported on the portal of the largest commercial television, and that in the five key cases in which Hojs wanted to review the proceedings, in the end no major irregularities were detected. Hojs: “This is one of their fake news again, a complete manipulation. The audits are by no means over, the only part that is finished is the police checking themselves whether something might be wrong, that is, the police part within themselves.” It was quite expected that despite the multitude of mistakes made, it was ultimately concluded that it did not significantly contribute to the ineffectiveness of crime checks. He, however, is still waiting for the more crucial part of the audit, which is being carried out on employees of the Ministry of the Interior who have the function of supervising the police, where things are far from that.
An investigation into Iranian money laundering is reopened by the NPU and prosecutors
“We will reveal this as soon as the case is closed and when it is also presented to the public,” Hojs explained. The host was further interested in how Hojs commented on the fact that the police were investigating only themselves, and no violations were detected in the big affairs that resonated. This is what had happened in the IranNLBGate affair, when money was transferred to the accounts of fictional people. Hojs: “It just shows that they are actually protecting their inaction. I will not claim that they want to cover up any criminal action. However, they definitely want to cover up what they did not do. And they did not do what is clear to everyone – that the affairs were criminal offenses, and we must not forget that in this particular case of laundering Iranian money, the investigation has been reopened.” He also explained that it had been established that the money laundering affair had never been closed. It was never found that there was no money laundering. That is why Hojs finds it difficult to comment on the apparently biased internal audits of the police, which want to justify their work with such documents as well.
The journalist further recalled the claim of the 24ur portal that the police did not want to hand over the document, saying that it was marked with an internal label, while the information representative said otherwise. She believes it is not classified information. Svetina was interested what the Interior Minister thought about this. “Obviously, the information representative decided that this was not classified information. This makes me happy, because I will speak about it with great joy to the public in about a month. And everything that is quoted as “internal” – let’s not forget, that this “internal” was put on by the police themselves – will be possible to reveal.” The host also reminded that Hojs is accused of never presenting the details to the public. However, Hojs reminded that the audit, as already mentioned, has not yet been completed. “I am not going to present something that is still in the intermediate phase, I am not going to present what the police might want to present, especially not what POP TV would like to present, but at the end when the audits are finished, I will present with numbers and facts and, above all, in a way that people will also be able to see that the audit is far from what they reported yesterday.”
The government is blamed for staffing the police, but it only appoints the director general of the police
Svetina further reminded that the Ministry of the Interior is currently under the attack of the largest commercial television. Today, a more extensive contribution is expected to be prepared, in which the former head of the NPU will perform. As Svetina added, they say that many experts who acted in high-profile cases received threats – that they were even threatened by criminals and that they were risking their lives. And now, during the period of right wing government, they have been removed as if they were not actually doing anything. As Svetina also pointed out, the Minister of the Interior is being blamed for personnel changes. “Is this something that is controversial for you, or is it something normal for a government to put people it trusts in a ministry?” Hojs: “The government appoints the director general of the police; this is actually the only staff that the government deals with. All other staff changes are, of course, the responsibility of the director of police. I must say that I strongly support a large number of these changes that have taken place under the new directors.” Hojs finds it unacceptable that people are in the same position, for example, the director of the NPU, even after 20 years, and their results are poor.
“NPU wanted to end the Teš 6 investigation with a report. Teš 6 was taken to court by the criminal department in Celje, not the NPU. Not that elite group of well-paid people who, as it seems, in all these years, did not find one or not many signs of corruption, despite the fact that it is known that the subcontractor himself admitted that he was corrupted,” Hojs added, and further explained that he had agreed on more than 200 million euros, which he had already returned. The process against those who took part in these corruptions has not even begun in Slovenian courts. It is difficult to say that this structure, which has operated in the past, is extremely successful or good. He also added that it is sarcastic to look at Mr. Aleksandar Jevšek, who is, in fact, not only an extension, but even a member of the SD party, and who as a police officer has presented himself as a professional over the years. Svetina then touched upon the accusations against the current government, which refer to political appetites, but during the time of the left wing governments this was not actually problematized in public.
Instead of investigating crime, the police worked closely with the televisions of LMŠ and SD: POP TV and RTV SLO
Hojs: “You have to know that this coupling, say POP TV as the party’s television of LMŠ and RTV as the distinctive party’s television of SD, is interested in doing nothing in many things. For example, the advertising money that POP TV receives has been huge for years and is tied to the fact that nothing changes in certain structures. It is similar on Public RTVS.” However, people who were in the decision-making positions within the police or in the places where they were responsible for revealing things, preferred to cooperate with them than to reveal them. On POP TV, the editor is Tjaša Slokar Kos, wife of Drago Kos. The latter, instead of making sure that the loans or things that were thrown out the window with a large spoon at the NLB – we are talking about unpaid loans – ended up in the bank, he covered up the tracks of those who stole the money, and in doing so even made “big” bucks. The link between people from the police with certain media houses and the biggest tycoons, who are rich or have access to large sums, has obviously been exposed over the years. “I believe that it hurts or worries them when new people come to the decisive positions within the police, unencumbered people, honest people. It is definitely a concern.”
Svetina then touched upon the “infamous” measure of the government, namely the ban on crossing borders into the red states, which was subsequently suspended by the Constitutional Court until the final verdict. “Decisions of the Constitutional Court are commented on in themselves. We have the Constitutional Court, where constitutional judges decide on themselves, decide on their sons, decide on their friends. We have been able to follow what is happening in the Constitutional Court in recent weeks. Even more than that: we could read that they make decisions without even opening the file or reading the case. They decide as a professional colleague tells them. This case is obvious because people wait for years for the decisions of the Constitutional Court, but if you are a first-class, that is, if you are Aleš Zalar or a companion of those close to him, then the Constitutional Court of course does not decide because they merely delay, but realises the matter within four days.”
The border will be protected in some places with optical fibers and sensors, and connected to control centres
“You can imagine how important first-class you have to be and how important the connections between certain judges at the Constitutional Court and the initiators are, that they realise the case at least to the extent that they process it within four days.” For the end Svetina also cited an example of the current arrest of a Slovenian citizen who was transporting 33 foreigners who had illegally crossed the Slovenian border in a van, and pointed out that the SDS party had promised that the border would be sealed. “How can this still be happening?” Hojs: “Of course, it is clear that we will make the promise come true to the fullest. Of course, complete closure is not expected. Not even the US is capable of that, perhaps Israel with double wires, with an army on the border, etc. However, we are doing everything we can to ensure that such cases are exposed.
It is more than obvious that this is organised crime and not some random “refugees” who find themselves in the Kolpa river basin, etc.” More than a hundred people smugglers of this kind have been imprisoned recently. The effort of the ruling policy, however, goes in the direction of closing the southern border. Currently, there is a tender for an additional 50 kilometres of new panel fences. And one of the companies will perform testing at the range. In the background there is an idea that in some places, the state border would be secured with appropriate optical fibers and sensors on them, and the latter would be connected to control centres where images would be sent. In this way, about seven kilometres of the state border would be additionally secured. As Hojs added, people living in the border area also notice that the matter is developing significantly differently than under the previous government.