Years ago, Dnevnik revealed that the President of the Court of Audit, Tomaž Vesel, had been convicted of fraud in Germany in the past, and was even expelled from the country. However, according to our information, it was Drago Kos who made sure that the information about this got to Dnevnik, as he wanted to discredit the President of the Court of Audit. Today, both Kos and Vesel are among the operatives who are overthrowing Janez Janša’s government. In addition, we also learned that Kos really wanted the position, which is currently held by Aleksander Čeferin – the position of President of the Union of European Football Associations – UEFA. However, it seems that the opponents are willing to bury the hatchets for a common goal.
Tomaž Vesel has been auditing the purchases of protective masks and other equipment since April, but due to the events related to the (non)overthrowing of the government, he will have to hurry up and finish his work soon, as he is being urged to do so. According to some media reports, the main goal of the audit that is being carried out by the Court of Audit is to overthrow the Minister of the Economy
Zdravko Počivalšek, which could, in turn, help the left in its attempts to overthrow the government, which have so far been, to the disappointment of the left-wing opposition, quite unsuccessful. They are still planning to file a constructive vote of no confidence against the current government this year, but without the break-up of the SMC party, this plan is practically a mission impossible.
We have previously already written about the fact that Drago Kos and Jože P. Damijan are close friends, and Kos is even said to have been the best man of Damijan’s wife at their wedding. Kos and Damijan are also connected in business; they were both part of the Corporate Integrity project, which, with the support of the Slovenian Directors’ Association and its then-President Borut Jamnik, as well as the Faculty of Economics, Chamber of Commerce and Industry Slovenia, and the Manager’s Association of Slovenia, hurled itself into the parastatal economy. Well, in addition to their friendship and business ties, they obviously also share a common interest – they both wish that the left political option would retain all of the important or profitable positions, which is what the main players of this political option have been accustomed to for many years.
As is also known, the group of operatives also includes the head of the Court of Audit, Tomaž Vesel. As we had learned that Vesel and Kos were not on the best of terms, as Kos was allegedly to blame for Dnevnik publishing some of the information that could have discredited Vesel, when he was elected head of the Court of Audit. Vesel is said to have been expelled from Germany for ten years in the past, due to fraud – which we have recently reported on in more detail. Kos is also said to have been the one who spread the news that Vesel was corrupt, back in the day. The reasons for these moves made by Kos are explained by the rumours from behind the scenes, which claim that Kos had ambitions to become the President of UEFA – we also asked Kos about all of this, but we have not received an answer yet. Aleksander Čeferin later became the UEFA President, and it is very likely that it was him who helped Vesel get the position of Chairman of FIFA’s Audit and Compliance Committee. Four years ago, the German media already wrote about the allegedly controversial connections between the President of the Court of Audit Vesel and the President of the European Football Association (UEFA) Čeferin, so this connection is also known in international circles. The German Bild pointed out that Vesel was, before being appointed chairman of the independent Audit and Compliance Committee at FIFA, the deputy head of the Youth Commission at the Football Association of Slovenia, which was headed by Čeferin at the time. Their acquaintance goes even further into the past; namely, they were classmates in high school, and according to some information, Tomaž Ambrožič and Uroš Slak were also in school with them.
Čeferin was elected by the people from the countries of the former Yugoslavia, the Visegrad and Gazprom
The success of Aleksandar Čeferin is considered one of the greatest international successes for Slovenia. The mainstream media and the majority of Slovenian citizens approved of this success. However, he did not earn the success on his own, as a lot of political arithmetic had to be used to win. The leading staff of the Football Association of Slovenia made sure that Čeferin was supported by the presidents of the football associations from the countries of the former common state. Some time ago, Božidar Novak, an expert on the international floor, wrote on Twitter that the decisive role was played by the political ties of the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. And those who know a lot about the events that happened at the time also told us that the Russian energy giant Gazprom had a lot to do with Čeferin getting elected. It was Gazprom that became the new main sponsor of UEFA’s most profitable product, the Champions League. The Russians saw in him a person who would clean up the organization with his appearance and take care of raising UEFA’s reputation in the world. In return, Čeferin was expected to sign several lucrative contracts with Gazprom for the legal services of the Russian energy giant. Tomaž Vesel was supposedly also part of Čeferin’s close team at the time, lobbying for his election for the UEFA president.
Vesel covered up certain financial irregularities of the Football Association of Slovenia in the wasteful project of the National Football Centre Brdo
Čeferin has proven to be a pragmatist many times in his long career. Despite defending many infamous and suspicious people, such as Zoran Jankovič, as their lawyer, he has never been involved in major scandals. However, his dark stain is said to be the construction of the Brdo National Football Centre. In the past, Čeferin was exposed by his predecessor, Ivan Simič. He wrote an extensive article for the Portalplus.si web portal, in which he presented all the numbers. In his article, Simič stated that during his presidency, they wanted to build an office building in Ljubljana and set up some football fields in Brdo. The entire project was set in a financial framework of between four and five million euros. But after the coup against Simič and his consequent resignation, the premises of the Football Association of Slovenia were occupied by Čeferin and his team. Tomaž Vesel was also among them. Thus, the cost of the project rose from the planned five million, up to ten million euros. Simič even made an additional argument, saying that the entire process of construction was non-transparent because the Football Association of Slovenia was paying the state 88 thousand euros in annual compensation for the building rights. Thus, the Football Association of Slovenia will have to pay as much as 4.4 million euros in the next 50 years, but even then, it will still not own the land. Ivan Simič led the association when the Slovenian national football team qualified for the World Cup for the second time, which took place in the Republic of South Africa in 2010. As Simič points out, the smaller associations in particular, such as Slovenia’s, depend on the ranking of their national team in major competitions. But since Simič’s departure, Slovenia has not qualified for any major competitions. Thus, in the last year of Čeferin managing the Football Association of Slovenia, in 2016, they had 6,012,500 euros of received loans (long-term and short-term liabilities). In addition, the Football Association had 2.2 million euros in loans from operating liabilities, which, according to Simič, amounted to 8.2 million euros in liabilities, or 374,319 euros more than in 2015. Simič also pointed out that during the period of Čeferin’s management, the association was making irrational moves. It was Vesel in the role of the President of the Court of Audit who allowed the cover-ups and made it possible for the scandalous project for the construction of the National Football Centre Brdo to be swept under the rug.
However, even if Kos and Vesel may not have the closest relationship, old grudges can be forgotten, at least temporarily, when the government is being overthrown. As the data from the draft report on the procurement of masks and respirators, which could potentially burden Počivalšek, had not yet been leaked to the public, the “uncles” from the background began to increasingly pressure Vesel. According to Kos’s connections, it can be expected that the data of the Court of Audit will find its way under the scrutiny of the commercial television company POP TV, but it is also possible that Martin Odlazek, a personal friend of Tomaž Vesel, will come to the rescue. So, according to media reports, the on-duty culprit for the “late” draft report
on masks was Vesel’s deputy Jorg K. Petrovič, who explained that he would comment on the content of the report within a reasonable time, as he has always done in his 16-year career at the Court of Auditors. “This is not about political, but about demanding professional decisions,” said Petrovič, noting: “The impatience of the media is creating an unacceptable pressure. At this stage of the audit, the possible replacement of the competent deputy would also be a precedent.” Following this public explanation, Vesel dismissed or revoked Petrovič’s powers. “Vesel’s revocation of Petrovič’s authority to sign the draft report was a scandal of the week and probably of the year as well,” Peter Jančič wrote for Siol.net, noting that the rapid start of the audit of protective equipment purchases in these exceptional times of severe distress was the result of the dirty campaign by the opposition.
With all of this, it should also be noted that even before the outbreak of the mask affair, Vesel met with the “whistleblower” Ivan Gale – the meeting was revealed by Bojan Požar. It is still unknown what they talked about, but we can guess that Vesel gave Gale certain instructions and guidelines for further action, perhaps also for the collection of data, with which they could later discredit Počivalšek. The draft report, even when it is still in the confidential phase, is received by all auditees, including Gale, who was one of the employees responsible for the procurement at the Agency for Commodity Reserves. The revision process is still at an early stage, however, with its early media publication, it could play a political role, which is clearly what certain players who are trying to overthrow the government are counting on. However, it should be emphasized that, in all this, the credibility of the audit and of the Court of Auditors as a whole, is under question. If the aforementioned scenario unfolds and the document actually finds its way into the media, Vesel will not be able to avoid responsibility for the political contamination of the Court of Audits. However, it is quite possible that Vesel, given the fabulous earnings brought to him by his afternoon activity at FIFA, is completely indifferent to this. According to the Süddeutsche Zeitung journalists, Vesel earns 250,000 euros per year at FIFA, while in Slovenia, he receives an annual salary of between 50,000 and 60,000 euros. In early December, the Süddeutsche Zeitung wrote about the investigation of Swiss prosecutor Steffan Keller of the FIFA president Gianni Infantino, on suspicion of abuse of money, fraud and corruption. Vesel and Čeferin are also said to be involved in this matter. According to Požareport, in exchange for his sacrifice and services, Tomaž Vesel was also promised to be elected as a member of the European Court of Auditors in Luxembourg, where he would receive a monthly salary of around 20 thousand euros. Samo Jereb is the man who is currently employed there, and he came there mainly with the support of Miro Cerar’s party, SMC.