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Roman Jakič – Trying to Overthrow the Government Through His Acquaintances from ALDE, While Burdened by Court Proceedings

Roman Jakič is another political convert on the left-wing political pole. In the past, he was a long-time member of the Liberal Democracy of Slovenia (LDS) party. After Zoran Janković entered politics, Jakič joined his party Positive Slovenia (PS). He was also a member of Golobič’s Zares party for some time. When the rift between Zoran Janković and Alenka Bratušek happened, he joined Alenka Bratušek’s newly formed party. He was always skilful and knew how to get to high-ranking political positions. Thus, he now holds one of the more influential positions within the political group ALDE – Renew Europe – the Liberal South East European Network (LIBSEEN).  This is the so-called Think Tank of the political group called Renew, which is chaired by Guy Verhostadt. It is Jakič’s connections and influence in this European group that contribute to the spreading of untruths about the Slovenian government. Let us remind you that the most aggressive European Commissioner, Vera Jourova, is also a member of this European group and Roman Jakič’s good friend.

Roman Jakič’s biography that is published on the LIBSEEN website, does not include any of his business sins from the past. He was elected a Member of Parliament four times on the LDS and Positive Slovenia lists. He was a Member of the European Parliament from 2000 to 2004. As a long-time politician of the left-wing political pole, he also served as the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee and as the Chairman of the EU Affairs Committee. He was the head of the Slovene Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of NATO. He also served as Vice President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) Group between 1998 and 2004. He was also a member of the ALDE Party Bureau between 2008 and 2016. Since 2017, he has been the President of the Liberal South East European Network.

Judging by the short description, it is clear that the former Minister of Defence from the government of Alenka Bratušek has always known how to get what he wants and got to important political positions in both Slovenian and European politics.

He is a long-time prominent member of the transitional network in Slovenia. Although his file on the official LIBSEEN website is spotless, he has actually been involved in quite a few affairs in the past. The long-time member of the once strongest left-wing LDS party, he found himself in court due to the Stožice case as the director of the Public Institute Tivoli. The mayor of Ljubljana, Zoran Janković, former director of the companies Gradis and Energoplan, Uroš Ogrin, and Zlatko Sraka, as well as the former director of the public company Ljubljana Parking Parks and Markets, who is now the director of Energetika company, Samo Lozej, also found themselves in the criminal proceedings in this same case. Grep was said to have persuaded the municipality of Ljubljana, the Public Institute Tivoli, which later became the Public Institute of Sport in Ljubljana, and the public company Ljubljana Parking Parks and Markets, to sign a contract with them for the lease of parking lots and business premises in Stožice. After they signed the contract, Grep was able to receive a loan from the NLB bank. At the time, Jakič ran the Public Institute Tivoli.

The defendants tried to stall, disqualify the judges and even move the case to another court
As explained at the Ljubljana District Court last year, the Supreme Court has now rejected the request to transfer the local jurisdiction, so the trial will continue in Ljubljana, where the next hearing at the District Court is scheduled for the 3rd of March. In the case in question, the prosecution is prosecuting Janković and the other eight co-defendants for alleged irregularities in obtaining European funds and loans for the Stožice sports and shopping centre. The indictment accuses them of a number of criminal abuses, including abuse of official position or official rights, fraud to the detriment of the EU, deception in obtaining a loan or benefits, and falsification or destruction of business documents. Because of the signing of the disputed contract, Grep’s company was able to obtain a loan, and therefore, it took out a loan of more than 50 million euros from the NLB bank in 2010. The municipality thus obtained 9.4 million euros in co-financing from the Slovenian budget and the European funds.

During the criminal investigations in 2013, the news about Jakič, who was the Minister of Defence at the time, being abroad right then, caused quite a stir. He later said that this was not true and even asked the National Bureau of Investigation if he could take a polygraph test. He also denied his involvement to Siol, saying that he was accidentally involved in the affair, as he himself opposed this deal. “However, the contract was not realised, as the private partner did not meet his part of the conditions, or the condominium was not registered. And this is where my story stops; I cannot change the fact that somebody brought a piece of paper to the bank and that the bank approved the loan under the suspensive condition,” Jakič told Siol in 2013. But all signs point to his role not being quite as innocent as he tried to portray it in the Slovenian media years ago.

The show Tarča proved that Jakič was lying, regardless of the fact that he was aware of the controversial nature of the deal
In one of the better episodes of the show Tarča, the controversial deal in which Jakič was involved was presented in detail. The whole problem of this deal is that all of the defendants participated in the signing of the contract in the amount of 1.8 million euros for the lease of the parking lots, which did not even exist at the time. All those involved agreed to pay 2,011,800 euros for an advertising space the size of 100 square meters, a market, a plaza, and a space with 2,500 parking spaces. An employee of the Ljubljana Municipality told Jakič and Loze that the prices were inflated and that the City of Ljubljana could not commit to providing the necessary funds for it from the budget. According to this plan, Jakič opposed the lease of the premises. However, he himself wrote that he was not entirely convinced that the Public Institute Tivoli could pay the financial burden of 800 thousand euros.

Thus, through the second and third versions, they got to the price of 1.3 million euros. Revenues of 1.8 million euros would come from the management revenues. The prosecution wrote that the goal of those involved was exclusively to reach the amount of 1.8 million euros in order to help Grep obtain a loan and thus help him obtain a direct material benefit. The set price of the parking lots, which would have cost 6.24 euros for one event, was also problematic. However, Tarča found that a maximum of four euros would be paid for nine hours of parking and one euro for three hours of parking. Due to this, the prosecution wrote in the indictment that the Ljubljana Municipality, the Public Institute Tivoli and Lozej’s Ljubljana Parking Parks and Markets acted uneconomically by signing such a contract, as they overpaid the value of the car parks, which still do not exist. Those involved managed to draw the first and second tranches of the loan on the 12th of November 2010, the indictment reads. Upon Grep’s bankruptcy, the loan was transferred to the Bank Assets Management Company (BAMC).

This event proves that Jakič was one of the key factors in Grep managing to obtain a loan of hundreds of millions of euros, which was generously approved by Slovenian banks. However, they also obtained some money from the European funds, which is all the more problematic for an important European member of the ALDE group. This is one of the main reasons why Jakič is bravely doing everything he can from the background, with the help of like-minded European colleagues, to bring down the current government.

He also proved this by taking the side of the former Minister of Justice Lilijana Kozlovič upon her resignation. He, too, was one of those who liked the anaemic role and work of the resigned Minister. We must also not forget that Jakič said that in the case of an indictment, he would no longer participate in any civil service as an official. He quickly forgot about all of that during the short term of the former Minister of Cohesion, Angelika Mlinar, who is also his party colleague. The latter signed a contract with Jakič, worth more than 20 thousand euros, for the influential player of the transitional network to perform the role of a consultant. Roman Jakič is not that different from the other influential players of the transitional left. He says one thing, but on the other hand, he never misses an opportunity to fill up his own pockets.

Luka Perš

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