The Slovenia Times

Largest two parties clash over parliamentary inquiry


Ljubljana - Even before it began its work, the parliamentary inquiry set up at the behest of the ruling coalition to look into alleged illegal financing of parties through media has hit a snag after the largest opposition party, which is to be the focus of the inquiry, demanded for a journalist to be excluded as an expert helping with the inquiry.

The Democratic Party (SDS) filed a formal request on Friday for Tomaž Modic, a journalist proposed by the Freedom Movement as an expert to help the inquiry, to be excluded, alleging a conflict of interest.

The party said that Modic had in the past worked with, the online news portal indirectly owned by the telecoms incumbent Telekom Slovenije, which is to be the subject of inquiry.

The party also argues that the news portal Necenzurirano, where Modic works as a journalist, falls under the sphere of the "media tycoon" Martin Odlazek and alleges financial and other ties between the portal and state-owned companies, including GEN-I, the company used to be run by incumbent Prime Minister Robert Golob.

"In view of those circumstances, there is a high probability that Tomaž Modic could find himself as a witness or as an investigated person in the inquiry in question as a result of his involvement with state-owned companies," the SDS said.

Necenzurirano denied the portal having any ties to state-owned companies, financial or otherwise, while Mojca Šetinc Pašek, the Freedom Movement MP who chairs the parliamentary inquiry, sees the SDS's demand as an attempt to discredit the inquiry even before it started its work.

Šetinc Pašek, herself a former journalist with TV Slovenija, noted in a press release on Monday that the inquiry's job was to investigate political responsibility of office holders for state-owned companies being drained of funds to finance the SDS media propaganda in the campaign for the most recent general election.

Cited in a press release from the Freedom Movement, she noted that the inquiry members unanimously appointed two experts to work with the commission, having not found a conflict of interest with any of them.

The release says that the two experts will work with the parliamentary inquiry the same way and under the same conditions and rules as external experts did with all parliamentary inquiries in the past who were put forward to aid them by the relevant inquiry chairs or members, including Jelka Godec and Anže Logar of the SDS.


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