The Slovenia Times

Defence Minister Accused of Abusing Defence Intelligence Service


By issuing this order the minister overstepped his powers, said New Slovenia (NSi) MP Matej Tonin, who headed the surprise inspection conducted on 9 March.

Ministers had to step down in the past for ethical violations, while "this was clearly a violation of the law....this story should definitely end with Veber resigning," Tonin said after the commission discussed the oversight report on Wednesday.

Veber responded that Tonin's call for his resignation was unfounded. He told the STA during a visit to the Novo mesto barracks that the security of the country and its defence system depended on Telekom's telecommunication network.

The minister moreover expressed surprise that Tonin demands his resignation, as the MP had asked him during a session of the parliamentary Defence Committee about Telekom privatisation.

Veber said today he responded that the ministry was trying to get the information needed to be prepared for the telco privatisation since Slovenia will have to make certain legislative changes before the sale.

The three-member task force Tonin headed requested that military intelligence and security service head Gorazd Rednak present the minutes of staff meetings held in November and December.

In the documents, the MPs found an order that instructed the intelligence and security service to perform an analysis of positive and negative effects of the planned sale of Telekom Slovenije for the defence minister, according to Tonin.

He added that the task force pointed out to Rednak that the service had been abused for private and party interests, as the defence act does not allow the service to collect information about privatisation of individual companies.

Rednak responded that this was one of the first orders he was given by Veber after taking the helm of the intelligence and security service in November, said Tonin, adding that the meeting took place on 10 November 2014, only two days after Rednak took over.

While Veber failed to attend the session today, Rednak was present. He defended the analysis by saying that Telekom privatisation was an important factor in terms of security, which Tonin labelled as poor defence.

Commission president Branko Grims told the press after the session that one of the MPs asked Rednak whether the service would continue to look into the sales of state-owned companies. To this Rednak responded in the negative, adding that such activity would be illegal.

The issue will likely be picked up again on Friday, as Veber said he would attend a session of the Defence Committee, which is currently not on the National Assembly's agenda yet.

Veber also talked to Prime Minister Miro Cerar over the phone today, assuring him that he had done nothing illegal, according to a press release from the PM's office.

Nevertheless, Cerar instructed the minister to present a detailed report on the matter by the end of the week.


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