By: Sara Bertoncelj (Nova24tv)
State Secretary for National Security in the Prime Minister’s Office Žan Mahnič responded to the words of Matjaž Nemec, chairman of the National Assembly’s commission for the control of intelligence and security services, saying that Knovs had received the first hints of possible misuse of spy equipment last year. According to Mahnič that is a lie, in fact, the first hints about the possible misuse of spy software by Sova against members and sympathisers of the SD party were actually given by Nemec, during the government of Marjan Šarec.
“I can confirm that we received the first hints at Knovs about the possible misuse of spyware in Slovenia last year. The request was sent to Sova on June 10th, 2020 (the request was marked “in secret”). We received Sova’s answer on June 23rd, 2020 (marked as “in secret”),” wrote Matjaž Nemec, President of the Commission of the National Assembly for the Supervision of Intelligence and Security Services (Knovs), a few days ago. His record referred to foreign media reports on wiretapping, and Nemec confirmed on Twitter that Knovs had received the first hints of possible misuse of spyware in Slovenia last year. He explained to STA that they did not know what software it was. “Even during the subsequent unannounced surveillance of the GPU, we were interested in whether they detected the use of prohibited software or technology that could be used by political parties, companies or a detective agency on their behalf,” he wrote further, adding for STA that they became even more attentive after the visit of Prime Minister Janez Janša to Israel last December.
“I can confirm that the following is a lie,” said Žan Mahnič, State Secretary for National Security in the Prime Minister’s Office. He explained that, in fact, the first hints about the possible misuse of spy software by Sova against members and sympathisers of the SD party were first given by Nemec, during the government of Marjan Šarec. “Therefore, at his suggestion in October 2019, we also carried out inspections in Sova,” he recalled.
Nemec did not agree with him, according to him, in 2019 there was no talk of any top spy equipment. However, in the beginning of 2020, some media also reported a high-profile revelation that Damir Črnčec, then State Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, under the direction of Marjan Šarec had set up a spy network to pursue and collect information on SMC, DeSUS and SAB. The possibility of espionage and persecution of some politicians was pointed out in the show Tarča on national television. Dejan Židan was also visibly upset among the participants.
More information was also revealed by Požareport, which reported that Šarec and Črnčec completely subjugated the police and intelligence services, all for political purposes. “Everything went in cooperation with the trustees in Sova, NPU and GPU,” it was written on the portal. In Slovenia, we had the most problems with the abuses of the secret intelligence services during Šarec’s government, when Sova and the military Intelligence Security Service (OVS) were illegally directed for political purposes. It was the OVS that was abused by the former Minister of Defense in Šarec’s government, Karl Erjavec, when he dismissed Brigadier Miha Škerbinec, who had acquired the rank of Major General this year. Even more brutally, the secret services were used to control political opponents and even coalition partners, and to fight for dominance in the state economy – which we reminded a few days ago.