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The District State Prosecutor Dismissed the Complaint of the Trade Union of Journalists of Slovenia Against Director of the Government Communication Office Regarding the Financing of the Slovenian Press Agency!

The district state prosecutor has dismissed the criminal complaint against the director of the Government Communication Office, Uroš Urbanija, M.Sc., which was filed by the Slovenian Trade Union of Journalists, in connection with the suspension of funding for the Slovenian Press Agency.

As is already known, the Government Communication Office (Urad Vlade Republike Slovenije za komuniciranje – hereinafter referred to as UKOM) refused to pay the Slovenian Press Agency (Slovenska tiskovna agencija – hereinafter referred to as the STA), as the STA director Bojan Veselinović did not want to submit the documentation to UKOM, which goes against his contractual obligations, on the basis of which UKOM could have justified the use of taxpayers’ money. In rejecting to pay, UKOM only complied with the provisions of the UKOM-STA Agreement.

At the same time, the district state prosecutor also rejected a criminal complaint against the management team of the Slovenian Press Agency and the former UKOM director Kristina Plavšak Kranjc, in connection with the signing of the Public Service Agreement, in which the signatories defined the Government Communication Office as the “representative of the founder.” In November 2020, STA director Bojan Veselinović claimed that UKOM does not have the government’s authorisation, in spite of the signed contract.

Regardless of the fact that the district state prosecutor dismissed the criminal complaint, UKOM welcomes the prosecutor’s allegations that “STA obtains funds from the state budget on the basis of an annual contract between the founder and the STA,” and further, that “only the absence (of an explicit authorisation) to conclude such a contract is not relevant from the point of view of criminal law.”

In accordance with such diction of the prosecutor, UKOM expects that STA director Bojan Veselinović will immediately hand over all required documentation to the Government Communication Office, as it is clear from everything that we have written above, as well as from the signed Agreement, that UKOM is the “representative of the founder,” and therefore does not need explicit authorisation.

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