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Will Golob Resign And Prove His Innocence?

Following the high-profile testimony of former Minister of the Interior Tatjana Bobnar and former Acting Director-General of the Police, Boštjan Lindav, who directly accused Prime Minister Robert Golob of brutal interference in police recruitment, the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption (KPK) has opened an investigation into suspected breaches of integrity in connection with a report alleging that the former Minister of the Interior, Tatjana Bobnar, and other employees of the Ministry of the Interior had been subjected to unauthorised pressure.

According to the official notification of the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption, the preliminary examination was initiated on the basis of a report received in December last year. “On the basis of a careful and thorough examination of the documentation obtained or available, explanations and relevant facts, including cooperation with other authorities, the Commission detected a suspicion of a breach of integrity as defined by the Integrity and Prevention of Corruption Act (ZIntPK),” the Commission said.

In December last year, when she resigned as the Minister of the Interior, Tatjana Bobnar informed the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption about allegations of political pressure on the police. She also spoke about political pressures during a hearing before the National Assembly’s Commission of Inquiry for determining the potential political responsibility of holders of public office with regard to the alleged inadmissible political interference in the work of the police and other competent state authorities. “Golob demanded from me, as a minister, actions that were inadmissible and unacceptable, because they directly interfered in the staffing of the police. What’s more, in order for me to remain Minister, someone had to lose their job. In fact, he took the position that he could demand this of me because he was the Prime Minister, which, of course, as the Minister, I could not agree to,” she was critical.

The President of the Commission recused himself from deciding on the case

According to the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption, the Commission’s Senate, composed of deputy chairmen David Lapornik and Simon Savski, decided on the case at a meeting on the 3rd of November this year. The latter decided to open an investigation in the case against Prime Minister Robert Golob. In this way, Golob became the person being investigated, who had already been informed of the opening of an investigation. On account of the interest shown, the Commission made the developments public. “The investigation is continuing in respect of the part of the complaint referred to above, while part of the allegations contained in the complaint are still being verified in the preliminary examination,” they explained.

In December of last year, the President of the Commission, Robert Šumi, recused himself from the decision-making process on the case, as he said he had an employment contract freeze in place at the police. According to the Slovenian Press Agency (STA), he also had business ties with the former Interior Minister, having worked with her for several years.

More information will be available after the conclusion of the investigation

The Commission also noted that it will be clear, in the context of the subsequent procedure, whether the suspected infringements will be confirmed or refuted. “The person concerned has all the rights guaranteed in the procedure, in accordance with the rules, and will have the opportunity to explain his or her actions,” they made it clear, adding that, in the interests of the procedure, more information on the case will be provided after the conclusion of the procedure.

Golob rejects the allegations

It is worth pointing out that after the former Minister of the Interior’s high-profile testimony, Prime Minister Golob said: “The only truth she told was that we agreed in May, before she was appointed, that she had one task and that was to cleanse the police of the Janšaists,” according to the Slovenian Press Agency. Bobnar, he said, had “twisted the truth” and there are supposedly witnesses and evidence to prove it. As he announced, this would be presented in the testimony before the Commission. The same would also apply to Lindav, he insisted, as it did to Bobnar. His innocence was supposed to be proven by a letter in which the police denied political involvement in its operational activities, but recent testimony by the Deputy Director-General of the Police, Igor Ciperle, showed that the letter did not cover the area of personnel pressure that Bobnar and the former Acting Director-General of the Police, Boštjan Lindav, accuse the Prime Minister of. This means that it will be difficult for him to prove his case on the basis of this letter.

The police have initiated pre-trial proceedings

Following the former Minister of the Interior’s statements before the National Assembly’s Commission of Inquiry that she had been pressured by Prime Minister Golob regarding police staffing, the Ljubljana Police Directorate announced last month that pre-trial proceedings were underway. “In the interest of the investigation and in accordance with the provisions of the Personal Data Protection Act, which relate to specific and identifiable natural persons, we can only confirm that pre-trial proceedings are currently underway. The competent public prosecutor’s office will be informed of the findings once all the information has been gathered,” they added in their statement at the time.

We also asked the Prime Minister’s Office in a press inquiry whether the Prime Minister intended to resign in light of the investigation launched by the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption. We will publish a reply at a later date – once we have received it.

A. H.

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