A press conference was held in the National Assembly about the flagrant abuse of the investigative commission, led by the former “independent” journalist at the public RTV Mojca Šetinc Pašek. SDS MPs Žan Mahnič and Janez Magyar were excluded as members of the investigative commission on the basis that both MPs were designated as witnesses following the misuse of the provisions of the law, which the Constitutional Court declared unconstitutional. Mahnič has already announced an appeal due to the illegal conduct of the president of the investigative commission if there are legal possibilities for this.
“Based on everything it has done so far, this commission of inquiry is intended to abuse the laws and abuse the parliamentary commission of inquiry. Above all, I note that this investigative commission is a cure for the personal frustrations that Mojca Pašek Šetinc has because of the SDS party and its president Janez Janša,” SDS MP Žan Mahnič said in front of the microphones of the press houses.
“What Mojca Šetinc Pašek is doing together with Nataša Sukić and Soniboj Knežak is nothing more than phishing, nothing more than an abuse of the law,” the MP said at the outset, then continued that Šetinc Pašek first requested transaction accounts from Nova24TV, Nove Hiša, and from Nova obzorja, and when she received the invoices, she requested the transaction invoices of all companies. When she received them, she requested the transaction accounts of all companies that transferred financial resources to the mentioned companies, or of companies that received financial resources from the mentioned companies. “She also requires all the contracts according to which the funds were paid out. The next step will be to request the transaction accounts of all the companies that did business with these companies, that did business with these two companies,” explained the MP, adding that this circle will expand until the investigation finds someone like Mile Šetinc (fn. her husband), and at this point the investigation will end.
The MP then pointed out that a few weeks ago, the SDS party proposed that the investigation be extended to the financing of the campaign of the political party Gibanje Svoboda through Odlazek’s media empire, the Necenzuirano portal and Vesna Vuković’s company. Mahnič then warned that Mojca Šetinc Pašek was in favour of such an expansion of the investigative commission, and then at the last session of the investigative commission it was said that it would not be hygienic if Mojca Pašek Šetinc investigated the financing of her own party and that she would also have too much work with a certain scope of the investigation, and that the opposition SDS should establish its own investigative commission. “It would be interesting to request all the transaction accounts of Odlazek’s empire, the transaction accounts of Vesna Vukovič, and then follow the flow of this money,” Mahnič concluded, adding that the Municipality of Tržič also did business with the aforementioned two companies (fn.: Nova24TV and Nova obzorja) and this at a time when its mayor was the current MP Borut Sajovic of the Gibanje Svoboda party.
Mahnič: I expected the appointment as a witness
The MP then spoke about the last move of the president of the investigative commission, i.e., the fact that he and his fellow MP were designated as witnesses and in this way they wanted to exclude him from the investigative commission. “I heard from the services of the National Assembly already in the summer that she was very reluctant because I was proposed as a member of the investigative commission, and that they were looking for all ways to remove me from this parliamentary commission,” said Mahnič.
“Mojca Pašek Šetinc is not suitable to lead this investigative commission. She does not know the law, which she proved today,” said the SDS MP and listed the provisions of the law, where it is written that an MP can be expelled if he was a subject of investigation or a witness, which Mahnič was not and is also not now, nor is he in a family or marital relationship with the subject of investigation, he does not sit on the body of the companies under investigation, nor was he involved in any investigative process, the subject of which is one or the other company.
Exclusion based on an unconstitutional article of the law
Then he also pointed out that the Constitutional Court decided that this very article, which was abused by both Mojca Šetinc Pašek and Nataša Sukič for the illegal exclusion of MPs, is unconstitutional in itself. According to points 16 and 17 of the findings of the Constitutional Court, it follows that both the aforementioned law and the rules of procedure do not contain an adequate procedural mechanism that would effectively prevent the systematic and deliberate obstruction of the work of the investigative commission by proposing witnesses and the consequent elimination of commission members, including the chairwoman. “I think that this is inadmissible, and we also have the decision of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Slovenia on our side. If there are legal possibilities for an appeal, I will also appeal the decision,” said Mahnič.
A new commission of inquiry is being prepared
At the end of the press conference, he also noted that a proposal is being prepared for the establishment of a new investigative commission, which will investigate political responsibility due to such a concentration of media ownership owned by Martin Odlazek, the background of unusual transactions to Vesna Vukovič’s company, and whether these funds were then also collected in the political campaign of the Gibanje Svoboda party. The establishment will take place after the opposition majority is secured in the Commission for the Control of Public Finances and the Commission for the Control of Intelligence and Security Services. According to the MP’s information, KNOVS and KNJF will be established shortly.
He concluded the press conference with the following words: “In short, this investigative commission led by Mojca Pašek Šetinc is a witch hunt. She is breaking all the laws, she is phishing. She exerts pressure on individuals, business entities, municipalities, and citizens, she exerts pressure on businessmen, wherein they will have to explain to a certain Mojca Pašek Šetinc why a private company advertised in a private company.”
*Note: Phishing is an illegal practice that aims to harm the victim by stealing personal information.