SDS Accuse LMŠ of Leaking Classified Info on Hungarian Financing of Slovene Media

By , 14 Feb 2020, 09:56 AM Politics
SDS Accuse LMŠ of Leaking Classified Info on Hungarian Financing of Slovene Media Wikimedia

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STA, 13 February 2020 - The Democrats (SDS) have accused the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ) of leaking classified information to journalists about Hungarian financing of media outlets with close ties to the party, accusations that the LMŠ denies.

The head of the SDS deputy group, Danijel Krivec, yesterday sent a letter to Jani Möderndorfer, the chair of a parliamentary inquiry into the financing of political parties, implying that the vice chair of the inquiry and LMŠ MP Aljaž Kovačič, and another LMŠ member, were looking at documents on money transfers from private Hungarian companies in the safe room of the National Assembly on 31 January and 3 February.

Related: NBI Examines Hungarian Funding of SDS-Friendly Media

The documents in question had been obtained during the parliamentary inquiry and were labelled as classified.

Later that week, media reported of the allegedly controversial financing of the SDS from Hungary, publishing data on transactions, which Krivec thinks "could not have been obtained legally", as NKBM rejected media requests for an insight into the transactions.

Krivec therefore proposes that the chair of the parliamentary inquiry into alleged money laundering at NKBM, Jani Möderndorfer of the Modern Centre Party (SMC) reports Kovačič and other unknown perpetrators to police.

Krivec also proposed to parliamentary Speaker Dejan Židan that the issue be discussed by deputy group leaders.

The LMŠ rejects the accusations, saying that its MP and vice chair of the inquiry, Kovačič, has the right and duty to go through the documents that are relevant for the inquiry.

"After all it is his task and duty as member of the inquiry to get acquainted with the content before it is put up for debate or a vote," said LMŠ deputy group head Brane Golubović.

He added that Kovačič and his college had acted in line with the rules, recording the date and the documents they had inspected. Meanwhile, Möderndorfer labelled the demand inappropriate and a pressure on the parliamentary commission.

Kovačič rejected the allegations that he had leaked the confidential information to the press, while SDS head Janez Janša said that only two people had looked into the data on transactions of private companies and that they were both from the ranks of the LMŠ.

Kovačič, on the other hand, said that he and his colleague had definitely not been the only ones looking into the documents. "I'm probably one of the few people who always sign their names when they look into documents. If I wanted to play James Bond I probably would not have been doing that."

Web portal Necenzurirano.si reported of transactions of funds originating from Hungary from accounts in the UK and Hungary to Slovenia on Monday. It said EUR 4 million had been wired, of which EUR 1.5 million landed on the bank accounts of two media companies that are behind the TV channel and web site of Nova24TV, both of which are co-owned by senior SDS officials.

The remaining EUR 2.5 million was reportedly wired to North Macedonia to finance the purchases of media companies with ties to the biggest opposition party, the centre-right VMRO-DPMNE.

The National Bureau of Investigation has confirmed it is investigating the funding of some media outlets close to the SDS.

The SDS has denied the accusations on several occasions, and has even threatened the outgoing PM, Marjan Šarec, with a lawsuit over the statements he made on public TV regarding the financing of the SDS from Hungary.

Möderndorfer confirmed for the STA on Wednesday that he had received the letter from the SDS, which he labelled "highly unusual". "I admit I am surprised this came from someone who has no access to the documents of the parliamentary commission and is neither its member nor substitute member," he said.

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