By: Sara Kovač / Nova24tv
Večer reported that Mitja Nerat brought the TEŠ case to court, and now he was preparing a related criminal complaint against Rudis and checking the responsibility of politicians in the construction of block 6. The criminologist was apparently demoted by the new police chief Boštjan Lindav for the reward, and according to some information, he was supposedly transferred to Tacen. Considering that one of the biggest affairs involved practically only one criminologist, who has now been withdrawn from the investigation, it is highly questionable whether the case will even have an epilogue.
According to Siol, the new police chief Boštjan Lindav removed the criminologist Mitja Nerat from the case last week, which means that the case will most likely not have an epilogue until the statute of limitations expires. The case is closely related to the Teš case, so those to whom the case will be assigned will need years before the case leads to an indictment – and the entire case expires in 2029. The Teš case did reach the court, but the police have not yet finished investigations of this project. The suspicion of committing a criminal offense of abuse of position and trust in economic activity was also observed in the case of the construction of the cooling tower and flue gas desulfurization device of block 6, which was supplied to TEŠ by the consortium Rudis – Esotech – Engineering Dobersek, wrote Siol.
According to Večer, Nerat was not the only one who proved himself in the case of the TEŠ 6 affair and was demoted as a reward. The same is said to have happened to tax inspector Andrej Palovšnik, who made sure that former director Teš Uroš Rotnik paid 1.6 million euros in property tax to the state treasury, which he otherwise failed to explain. The project is said to have been overpaid by around 33 million euros, of which Rotnik is said to have received at least two million euros in bribes, wrote Večer, that goes on to state that Nerat is also supposed to investigate the responsibility of politicians, former Prime Minister Borut Pahor and then minister Franco Križanič and Matej Lahovnik, who were affirmative to block 6 at the decisive time. “The allegations about the intentional stopping of the investigation of criminal acts or even helping the suspects are untrue,” the Police responded to the accusations.
The trial in the Teš 6 case began in June 2021, most of the defendants pleaded not guilty, only the American group General Electric, which is the legal successor of the French company Alstom Power, admitted guilt – the prosecution accused it of assisting in the criminal act of abuse of power. The district court in Celje is expected to decide by the end of August whether to accept the plea agreement. Let us remind you that in June last year, STA reported that lobbyist Peter Kotar, director of CEE Boštjan Kotar, employees of Termoelektrarna Šoštanj (Teš) Darko Weiss, Jože Lenart, and Miran Leben and tax consultant Darko Končan pleaded not guilty. The liquidation manager of Kotar’s company Sol Intercontinental, Anže Biber, did not want to state his guilt, nor did financial expert Bogdan Pušnik. Teš employees Jože Dermol and Bojan Brešar were also accused of the criminal acts of abuse of position or trust in economic activity and money laundering, as well as aiding and abetting the aforementioned criminal acts. Former Alstom directors Frank Lehmann and Josef Reisel are also among the accused.
In the investigation, criminal investigators found damage allegedly worth 250 million euros during the construction of Teš 6. The price of the project is said to have risen to 1.41 billion euros due to poor management, whereas it should have originally been 650 million euros. It is one of the most extensive indictments in Slovenia, as it has 1,332 pages and 43,000 attachments. The defendants face up to 20 years in prison, and the case will become statute-barred in 2028, Siol reported. At the end of June 2018, criminal investigators also conducted several house searches in the Rudis case. Among other things, they checked suspicions that one of the co-owners of this company was Rotnik. Since 2011, the official owner of Rudis has been the Swiss company Cottagon, registered in the local tax haven of Zug, and the money for this is said to have come from Rudis’ dealings with Teš.