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How Švarc Pipan Went Mad After The Litijska Affair And How Vesna Vuković Is Involved In The Story

The Ministry of Justice was like a battlefield after the “Litijska” affair broke out, according to a special whistleblowers’ letter. The text, which was delivered to our inbox, reveals hitherto unknown details about Vesna Vuković’s involvement in the whole affair, while also detailing how the former minister “went berserk” and who she authorised to be the executioner of her employees, but who resisted her.

“It is time to reveal the events of those fateful days, when the affair took on a new shape,” the whistleblowers wrote.

Employees of the Ministry of Justice said in their letter that they have been under public pressure for months. The reason is, of course, the controversial purchase of what was supposed to be the new court building at Litijska Street 51 in Ljubljana. We have written extensively about the affair on this web portal over the past six months, but this is the bottom line: the Ministry of Justice paid much more for the building than its previous owner did just a few years before. Heads have already rolled over the affair. The then-Justice Minister from the ranks of the Social Democrats (Socialni demokrati – SD), Dominika Švarc Pipan, had to resign, as did the former Secretary-General of the Social Democrats, Klemen Žibert. The affair also had clear imprints of intra-coalition squabbling, as it was first brought to light on the pro-government web portal Necenzurirano (Uncensored).

Employees at the Ministry: the Minister bragged about the purchase

And due to the letter, we are now able to reveal new details about the affair in question. The “whistleblowers” reveal that even before the affair broke out, the then-Minister was constantly boasting among her colleagues and on social networks about the successful purchase of the building on Litijska Street in Ljubljana. “She pointed out that a step forward had finally been taken to ensure better conditions for the courts. But then, an online media outlet (the Uncensored web portal) started to problematise the purchase. In the cabinet, the then-Minister said that it was not clear to her why her coalition partner was attacking her about this,” they wrote.

We have also already written about the fact that the affair had distinct elements of squabbling within the coalition. The affair started on the Uncensored web portal, which is linked to the Golob government on a family and professional level. The wife of the web portal’s journalist, Primož Cirman, is the head of the Government Communication Office – Petra Bezjak Cirman; the other journalist from the web portal, Tomaž Modic, is also an expert associate of the National Assembly’s commission of inquiry for the prosecution of opposition media, and the web portal’s former journalist, Vesna Vuković, has been promoted to the position of Secretary-General of the ruling Freedom Movement party (Gibanje Svoboda) following the elections to the National Assembly. It is the latter, who has since stepped down as Secretary-General of the party in question, who also appears in the whistleblowers’ letter.

According to the employees, after the affair broke out, the Minister decided to meet with Prime Minister Robert Golob. The meeting is known to the public, but the details we are publishing below have not been known thus far:

“On the morning of Thursday, the 18th of January 2024, she and Igor Šoltes, former Secretary of State, went to meet Robert Golob. Around midday, they returned and summoned the members of the cabinet and said that Vesna Vuković had also been at the meeting. They said that they had received instructions that the purchase of the building should be annulled and that the person responsible for the purchase should be identified, otherwise, Dominika Švarc Pipan would have to resign. She said in front of the staff that she had no intention of resigning. She also said that she would blame the employees for the purchase,” the employees wrote.

A time for “chopping heads” and rebellious executioners

Švarc Pipan blamed her subordinates for the controversial purchase, but did not accept the blame herself, and neither did the Prime Minister or the Minister of Finance, Klemen Boštjančič. The opposition, led by the President of the Slovenian Democratic Party (Slovenska demokratska stranka – SDS), Janez Janša, has made it clear throughout that the purchase could not have been made without the approval of all three.

The proverbial “chopping of heads” ensued. Employees claim that the Minister first turned to the Secretary-General of the Ministry, Uroš Gojkovič, and instructed him to immediately replace all heads of services in the Secretariat and to fire certain people immediately. Gojkovič allegedly resisted the Minister’s order, among other reasons, because he feared lawsuits from his employees.

“Then the Minister literally went berserk and said that she was going to get rid of him, too, and that someone else would do the dirty work for her instead of him. She sat down at the computer and wrote Gojkovič’s resignation herself – she wrote it as a fault-based liability at first, but the cabinet members managed to agree that Gojkovič would resign himself,” the letter reads.

Source: The police are breaking into employees’ private mailboxes

We have obtained another, separate source of information from the Ministry. The source in question reveals a highly unusual police procedure in the investigation of this affair. It is important to note that the only suspects in the investigations were Ministry employees – but not the Minister of Justice, the Prime Minister or the Minister of Finance.

The police are now alleged to have bullied the employees in order to cover up the results of the audit prepared by the Ministry’s internal audit service. They cite “a whole series of oddities”, not least that the investigation has not produced any evidence in six months that the suspects have done anything wrong. It is also alleged to have prevented the audit from being carried out all along. This is according to the source:

“The day before the audit was completed (Thursday), the officers from the National Bureau of Investigation (NPU) were once again at the Ministry of Justice, and they were taking their frustrations out on the staff. The employees warned them that it was not right to visit them at work and bully them (they had brought a single document with them), but one of the police officers said that they could do whatever they wanted and that next time, they could come with patrol wagons and lights to their homes and make a spectacle if people kept complaining that they don’t like something. The employees immediately informed current Minister Katič and the union of what was happening, but everyone has kept quiet on the problem so far.”

The source also added: “Katič has handed over the audit to the prosecutor’s office and the police. Given that a whole series of suspected crimes by former Minister Švarc Pipan is listed in the audit, Katič apparently filed a complaint against her!”

In addition, the following allegations by the source are particularly worrying: the police have allegedly started hacking into the private emails of ministry employees.

Ž. K.

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