Corruption Watchdog Clears Janša Over Mauritius Meetings

By , 21 Feb 2022, 16:02 PM Politics
Corruption Watchdog Clears Janša Over Mauritius Meetings Photo: Council of the European Union

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STA, 21 February 2022 - The Commission for the Prevention of Corruption has cleared Prime Minister Janez Janša over his socialising with a well-known lobbyist and a businessman while holidaying on the island of Mauritius when he was still an opposition leader.

The commission said today it had found no breach of anti-graft legislation in Janša's socialising with lobbyist Božo Dimnik and businessman Andrej Marčič in Mauritius, so it closed the case. Nor did it establish violations in public contracting in the case of Marčič's IT company, but it did issue some recommendations.

Photos showing Janša in the company of the pair in Mauritius in 2003 were published last summer by the news web portal Necenzurirano. The commercial broadcaster POP TV later released photos showing Janša on Marčič's yacht in 2016. Janša was an opposition leader on both those occasions.

The media speculated the socialising may have been contentious because Marčič's company Integralis in 2020 won the contract awarded by the government secretariat to overhaul a database and supply specific systemic and IT equipment. Dimnik is a prominent lobbyist, whose daughter owns a major supplier of medical product.

The commission, which can only handle cases not older than five years, said it did not find any violations of the integrity and prevention of corruption act in Janša's contacts with the two businessmen, contracting with Integralis or relocation of the headquarters of the consulate in Mauritius.

The watchdog said not every contact between public and private officials can automatically be defined as lobbying. It has also not received no complaint about suspected lobbying against Janša or other concrete information in that respect.

However, the watchdog has established certain corruption risks and a suspicion of violation with respect to the National Review Commission's powers in the case of public procurement by the government secretariat.

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