The Slovenia Times

Intelligence report in focus of money laundering inquiry


Pahor, who led the government in 2008-2011, did not read SOVA's report on the alleged laundering of some US$1bn by an Iranian via NLB.

Explaining he had not read all SOVA reports as not all were equally important, he said he had assumed the Office for Money Laundering Prevention was dealing with the case.

Although he had cooperated well with SOVA, he said that during the economic crisis nuclear proliferation, which he does not underestimate, was not his major concern.

Pahor could not agree with commission chair Jani Möderndorfer's statement that his government was incapable of using SOVA's intelligence.

However, he agrees it should be established which mechanisms have failed to strengthen them or establish then anew.

Pahor's advisor for national security at the time Darko Lubi said that he had received the SOVA report in November 2010, but he could not remember its content.

"The report was obviously not that dramatic... I apparently assessed that since other institutions were already on the case, I didn't have to notify the prime minister or call a National Security Council session."

However, Lubi admitted that if he had had the data which had been fully revealed until now, he would have acted differently.

Möderndorfer of the ruling SMC was surprised Lubi had failed to act given that the report, sent to seven addresses, was related to the period when Iran was under UN sanctions for its nuclear proliferation programme.

Pahor's Finance Minister Franci Križanič said he had received regular reports from institutions such as the Office for Money Laundering Prevention.

However, he could not remember having been informed about the contentions Iranian transactions either by the office or SOVA.

He also stressed the office was independent. "If the office thought there was money laundering, it should have filed a criminal complained at the prosecution, and the judiciary should process it further."

Križanič said he had met the Iranian ambassador, who complained that Iran was unable to carry out any financial transaction due to the international sanctions.

The former minister later asked the then NLB chairman, Božo Jašovič, about this, with Jašovič telling him there had been some transactions, which were later suspended.

Križanič also knew nothing about potential money laundering at NKBM, allegedly by Italian mafia, but he believes the bank has good oversight to prevent it.


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