Ljubljana – Prime Minister Janez Janša told the parliamentary inquiry looking into the financing of political parties on Tuesday that his Democratic Party (SDS) was not financed from abroad or from illegal sources. He also denied that the EUR 450,000 loan taken from a Bosnian citizen in 2017 was money laundering.
It was a continuation of the interview with the prime minister and president of the ruling SDS party after a session held on 3 March.
At the time, Janša denied any influence of the SDS in the companies running the Nova24TV news television channel and its web portal nova24tv.
He told the MPs that the SDS had not influenced in any way in the past the operation of NTV24, as it was a limited liability company, or the operations of Nova Hiša, which runs the web portal.
Today, the prime minister was asked about the EUR 450,000 loan taken by the SDS from Bosnian citizen Dijana Đuđić by several members of the parliamentary inquiry.
Marko Bandelli of the Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB) noted that the inquiry had found that Đuđić had been suspected of abusing the tax system, falsifying and destroying tax documents and facilitating pyramid schemes.
Janša confirmed that he as the SDS president had signed the loan taken out from Đuđić, as stipulated by the party’s statute at the time. The party did not out the loan abroad, but “in Slovenia from a person who had a Slovenian tax number,” he said.
“A notary confirmed that [the person] acted in accordance with the rules,” Janša said, adding that the loan had been investigated by all possible authorities and institutions.
The only irregularity that was found was the amount of loan, due to which the party paid a fine, while “nothing else was disputable here, there was no money laundering or any other criminal act.”
Janša said this was the first and last time that he met Đuđić. “There was no Snežič in between,” he said when asked by Jani Möderndorfer of the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ) to confirm or deny that the deal had been proposed by tax advisor Rok Snežič.
Regarding allegations that the SDS is financed from Hungary and that Hungarian money was used directly for the party’s campaign, he noted that it was private capital and that private companies from EU could invest money wherever they wanted.
Janša noted that EUR 800,000 in Hungarian capital had been invested in Nova24TV, while foreign capital investment in the commercial broadcaster POP TV amounted to EUR 200 million.
“These are the relationships we are talking about. EUR 200 million in capital in another media outlet that is attacking our party,” he added.
The prime minister confirmed that he had become a co-owner of Nova Hiša, which runs the nova24tv web portal, and that his influence on the media outlet was proportional to his stake in the company – 0.1%.