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The Inquiry Commission Found That Abuse of Power Happened During House Searches in the Kangler Case, and Also Detected Other Anomalies

Regarding the abuse in the case of Franc Kangler and others, the Commission of Inquiry pointed out that legislation would need to be changed, especially the parts concerning police operations. They found that abuse happened during the house searches. They also proposed that a list of sworn witnesses be available at the Ministry of Justice during house searches, STA reports. At Tuesday’s session of the Commission, a police officer was also questioned, who accessed the personal data of citizens without authorisation, including the personal data of the former Minister of Defence Karl Erjavec.

Chairman of the Commission of Inquiry of the National Assembly, Dejan Kaloh, said in a statement for the media that other anomalies were also detected, such as the illegal access to the citizens’ records and the fact that the operational and communicational centres selectively informed the Ministry of the Interior of their findings, depending on the Minister and which party he belongs to. Some Ministers wanted their reports; others did not. According to Kaloh, the former Minister of the Interior Boštjan Poklukar even demanded that citizens’ personal data be included in the report. The Commission also noticed that police records that relate to the meetings of police officers and suspects were very unorganised. According to Kaloh, the Commission has now gathered enough material to be able to prepare a quality final report, which will be available for discussion in the National Assembly, which is expected to happen in autumn.

In accordance with the decision of the Commission adopted today, Kaloh will file a notice of suspected criminal offence of abuse of official position or official rights against a criminal investigator from the Maribor Police Administration, Aleksander Geršovnik. Former director of the Nigrad utility company, Srečko Hvauc, said at a hearing before the Commission in October 2019 that Geršovnik had promised to arrange for Hvauc to receive a suspended sentence if he helped him “get Kangler,” Kaloh explained. During Kangler’s term as mayor of Maribor, Hvauc was being investigated by the police, as the director of Nigrad, in connection with the Leon Štukelj Square renovation project. In the end, he was acquitted. And as a criminal investigator, Geršovnik participated in the investigations against the then-mayor of Maribor.

Kovšca assessed that this was a coordinated pressure on the work of the National Council As their previous statements regarding their first meeting ten years ago differed, the Commission of Inquiry confronted Hvauc and Geršovnik on the 13th of April. The latter insisted that as a criminal investigator, he always acted professionally. Kaloh believes that their confrontation showed that the police do not always prepare an appropriate official note after talking to the suspects. At yesterday’s session of the Commission, a police officer was questioned, who, as Kaloh said, had accessed personal data of citizens without authorisation, including the personal data of the former Minister of Defence, Karl Erjavec. And the President of the National Council of the Republic of Slovenia, Alojz Kovšca, also testified as a witness, pointing out the “unusual actions of the prosecutor’s office and the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption.”

Sara Bertoncelj

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