NBI Examines Hungarian Funding of SDS-Friendly Media

By , 12 Feb 2020, 10:03 AM Politics
Viktor Orban and Janez Janša at an SDS event Viktor Orban and Janez Janša at an SDS event SDS Facebook page

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STA, 11 February 2020 - The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI, Nacionalnega preiskovalnega urada – NPU, “Slovenia’s FBI”)) is investigating the funding of some media outlets close to the Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS), public broadcaster TV Slovenia reported. The police refuse to comment.

The media are suspected of having received funding from Hungarian business people with close ties to Fidesz, the party of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, TV Slovenija said.

The news comes after web portal necenzurirano.si reported on Monday that EUR 4 million were transferred since August 2018 from accounts in the UK and Hungary to accounts in Slovenia.

EUR 1.5 million allegedly ended up on the accounts of media companies NovaTV24.si and Nova Hiša, the broadcaster of the TV programme and publisher of Nova24TV.

Related: Hungary’s Influence in Prekmurje and Beyond

The rest allegedly went to North Macedonia for the purchase of media companies from the circle of Macedonia's biggest opposition party VMRO-DPMNE.

Necenzurirano.si also said that the funds were the key source of income for NovaTV24.si and Nova Hiša.

In 2018, total earnings of NovaTV24.si reached EUR 1.54 million, only EUR 300,000 more than the total sum of Hungarian funds since August 2018 until today. Whereas the earnings of Nova Hiša in 2018 reached EUR 324,000.

The portal said that the two media are close to the SDS, because several party members sit on the management board of NovaTV24.

Related: Parliamentary Committees Condemn Hungarian Interference in Slovenian Media

SDS leader Janez Jaša accused NBI head Darko Muženič in a tweet today that he had allowed millions to be laundered in NLB bank and was now investigating the media that reported about it.

The SDS has repeatedly rejected speculation about illegal funding for the party from abroad. What is more, the party has threatened to sue outgoing Prime Minister Marjan Šarec for saying that the SDS had received funds from Hungary.

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