Many world media outlets have shared the news that the Israeli company NSO has produced the spy software Pegaus, with the help of which more than 50 thousand telephone numbers of journalists, activists and politicians are supposed to be connected. In Slovenia, we had the most problems with the abuses of the secret intelligence services during Šarec’s government, when the civilian Slovenian Intelligence and Security Agency (Sova) and the military Intelligence and Security Service (OVS) were illegally targeted for political purposes. It was the OVS that was abused by the former Minister of Defence in Šarec’s government, Karl Erjavec, when he dismissed a high-ranking employee of the Slovenian Army, Brigadier Milan Škerbinec. Marjan Šarec, Damir Črnčec and the then director of SOVA Rajko Kozmelj in the employment of Šarec’s acquaintance Nataša on Sova. 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.
The president of KNOVS, Matjaž Nemec, responded to today’s news that the members of KNOVS had received certain information last year. For the press release, Nemec confirmed that the people in charge at Sova were asked for explanations as early as June 10th, 2020, and the answer marked secret was received on June 23rd, 2020. Nemec also said that a year ago he did not know what software and technology it was about. Unannounced, they also visited the General Police Station and asked them if they had detected the use of prohibited software or equipment used by political parties, companies or detective agencies on their behalf.
Regarding irregularities, illegality and serious abuses of the intelligence services, enough was written during the mandate of the government of Marjan Šarec, when the main operations were led by his security adviser Damir Črnčec. We will most remember the affair of the employment of Šarec’s acquaintance Nataša Hribar on Sova, when the former director of Sova, Rajko Kozmelj, with the help of Šarec and Črnčec, took care of her employment in a very suspicious way. At the same time, of course, she did not meet any conditions for employment in the required position.
KNOVS proved that the OVS carried out illegal intelligence control over Miha Škerbinec
The commander of the Slovene forces, Major General Miha Škerbinc, experienced much more serious incitement from the Slovene intelligence services. Defence Minister in Šarec’s government Karl Erjavec (DeSUS) abused his position when he demanded that the intelligence service investigate what Commander Škerbinc had said at the college and in front of soldiers about the health condition of Chief of General Staff Alenka Ermenc. The head of the military intelligence service, Dejan Matijevič, abused his position when he accepted the minister’s request, which was only verbal, and the illegal intelligence control over the commander of the army forces was carried out by the then composition of the KNOVS.
KNOVS vice-president in 2019 and then SDS MP Žan Mahnič said that there were rumours in the media that Chief of General Staff Alenka Ermenc had been hospitalised due to mental problems. Škerbinc is said to have commented on her health condition at the college and in front of the soldiers in Vrhnika. Due to this information, the OVS, on the order of the Minister, began to carry out traditional intelligence activities. On April 3rd, informants came to the command of the forces in Vrhnika and questioned 25 soldiers about what Škerbinc was saying at the college and at the army unit. The hearings lasted from morning to afternoon. Škerbinc was dismissed by Minister Erjavec two days later at Ermenc’s suggestion.
Attack on state-owned companies with the most corrupt methods
Šarec’s government also brutally attacked the state economy, especially companies that lay golden eggs. Namely, they took staffing very seriously, which they never hid, but it turned out again who manages everything and what resources they use. Let’s remember how the former President of the Management Board of Telekom, Rudolf Skobe, was shot with a photograph when he was caught with a high-ranking Telekom employee, Igor Rojs, in a bar at the Hipodrom. Prior to that, they had already managed to appoint Vid Žurga to the position of a member of the Management Board, through Damir Črnčec.
Let us also recall the events in the largest state-owned company Petrol, when on October 24th, 2019 the entire management board with Tomaž Berločnik suddenly resigned. Officially, because they diverged in strategy, and unofficially, because they blackmailed members with ticklish photos allegedly taken by Sova agents.
We have repeatedly reported in our media that the current associate of the LMŠ parliamentary group, Damir Črnčec, has his own army of secret agents in Sova. Only he diligently uses this to achieve his political goals. Most likely, Črnčec controlled the movement of Slovenian politicians through the then Minister of the Interior Boštjan Poklukar. The most notable case was the pursuit of Nsi MP Jožef Horvat and the son of SAB president Alenka Bratušek. Later, a few other MPs came forward who faced the same experience as Horvat. Instead of getting to the bottom of the matter, information commissioner Mojca Prelesnik saved Poklukar and Črnčec with her decision. All of this was apparently calmly monitored by the MP Nemec, who was a key party with his Social Democrats so that the left could form a government, and Šarec family then “worked their tails off” for so long that the towel was not thrown in. Until the end of this government, we have not heard a word from the current president of KNOVS Nemec about any controversial operation of the intelligence services in the hands of politics.