STA, 13 July 2022 - David Antolovič, the new director of the criminal police department, never witnessed as "brutal pressure" on individual investigations undertaken by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) as under the previous government, he told 24ur news site on Wednesday.
Antolovič was deputy NBI director when the NBI started investigating public purchases of the protective equipment during the first wave of Covid in 2020.
He believes this investigation was the trigger for deliberate and targeted politically-motivated attacks on the NBI.
A day after the house searches were carried out in June 2020, the then Interior Minister Aleš Hojs accused the investigators of bias and unprofessionalism, he said.
Antolovič said that before these attacks, the NBI had been autonomous and immune to attempts at influencing investigations.
He also criticised for 24ur the decision to include NBI investigations in investigations of alleged offences against the public order as this is not in its purview.
The NBI was additionally hampered as some of its investigators were assigned to a task force tackling backlog at the Ljubljana Police Department and another in charge of migrations, including Antolovič.
He said the NBI had been founded to investigate the most demanding crime rather than tackling backlog at individual police departments.
The two task forces were claimed by some to have been set up to get rid of some senior police officers, including Tatjana Bobnar, who is now interior minister, and Boštjan Lindav, who became police commissioner under the new Robert Golob government on 1 July.
Antolovič, who became criminal police director in mid-June, decided to file a criminal complaint with the Specialised Public Prosecutor's Office for bullying at work.
"That period made me realise with what kind of people I was actually surrounded and what they were willing to do for certain interests," he said, adding the police force had a lot of work ahead to restore trust in its mission.