The Specialized State Prosecutor’s Office has dismissed a criminal complaint against Andrej Šircelj, MSc, which was filed with the Prosecutor’s Office on February 17th, 2017, by the National Bureau of Investigation (Nacionalni preiskovalni urad – hereinafter referred to as NPU). It related to the events from 2014 when criminal investigators carried out extensive house searches of the then-MP Šircelj, who is currently the Minister of Finance.
In the notice of dismissal of the complaint of June 7th, 2020, the Prosecutor’s Office wrote that the NPU had accused Šircelj of committing the criminal offense of abuse of a position of trust in economic activity. NPU criminal investigators conducted house searches in December 2015, Šircelj was then questioned on June 14th, 2016, and a criminal complaint was filed based on that. The prosecution has now definitively dismissed the criminal complaint. After almost five years, the matter is thus finally concluded.
What happened on December 15th, 2015?
On December 15th, 2015, criminal investigators conducted house searches in the Šircelj case – both in his parliamentary office, as well as at the SDS party headquarters, where they tried to search his office, even though it was clear that Šircelj did not have one at the party headquarters. The order for house searches was signed by the investigating judge Deša Cener from the Ljubljana District Court, a judge who previously refused to hand over the documents in the matter of the creation of a bank hole in NLB, to the Commission of Inquiry of the National Assembly, and thus protected the theft of a billion euros of our assets.
Vinko Gorenak, Ph.D., who was a member of parliament at the time, wrote that he came to work in the National Assembly at around 8 a.m. that day and that a stranger stood motionless between his office and Andrej Šircelj’s neighbouring office. Gorenak asked him if he was looking for someone. “He mumbled something, I did not even understand what he said, but it was clear to me that he was either a police officer in plain clothes or a criminal investigator,” Gorenak wrote, who quickly realised that something strange was happening. He quickly called Šircelj, who picked up, and told him that the criminal investigators are conducting a search of his office.
Alleged reason – the establishment of BAMC, actual reason: attempt to obtain all SDS data
“The events that followed were quite predictable,” Gorenak continued. “First, of course, reports from the dominant media, that the police are investigating SDS’ MP Andrej Šircelj, who is suspected of some crimes, related to the establishment of the Bank Assets Management Company (BAMC) – the bad bank. Who informed them? You guessed it. None other than the criminal investigators themselves. However, an even bigger surprise followed shortly after. Criminal investigators appeared at the SDS headquarters at Trstenjakova 8 in Ljubljana. They shoved the warrant for a house search and seizure of all data from the SDS servers in Janez Janša’s face.”
“The warrant for the search and seizure of data was clear, the SDS server with all the data, and not only Andrej Šircelj’s communications’ data. So this was data on communications of some 30,000 SDS members, who use the official party e-mail. Why would they need the data on everyone’s communications, and not just Andrej Šircelj’s? Janša and I agreed to provide the data on Andrej Šircelj’s communications, but not the data on the communications of all SDS members who use the official party e-mail address. Janša also made this clear to the investigators. Investigators thus had to wait for a while, for the arrival of external associates of SDS, who separated Andrej Šircelj’s communication data from the rest and handed it over to the criminal investigators,” Gorenak described the events.
The SDS party did not hand over the data on communications within the party
“If the judicial order was “clean” from the point of view of the law, the judicial branch of government and the police would, of course, try to fight us on this, but they did not. Everyone was satisfied with the data on Šircelj’s communications only, and no one tried to argue with us because we refused to hand over the data on communications of all SDS members, which was requested by the court. Incredible abuse by the judicial branch of power. The next day, the dominant media were filled with articles about the SDS headquarters being the target of criminal investigations. They made up all kinds of stories about Andrej Šircelj and the SDS party,” Gorenak added.
In 2019, the national press agency STA reported that the criminal investigators were closing the case after almost four years. They also reported that Andrej Šircelj was no longer suspected of any crimes.
Someone related to the criminal police, the prosecution, or the investigative judges, abused their position
Gorenak wrote that he expected the matter to unfold like this, and revealed that even back then, in 2015, and also later, he spoke with Andrej Šircelj about what he might have done wrong, and what part of his actions, from the point of view of the criminal legislation, could have been controversial at all. Šircelj explained the situation surrounding the establishment of BAMC to Gorenak, as they both wanted to figure out if there could have been anything controversial in his actions. “The conclusion we’ve reached was clear – there was nothing wrong.”
This was confirmed as early as July 2019, and finally now, a year later, in July 2020, the Specialized Prosecutor’s Office has dismissed the criminal complaint. And to conclude, here is what Gorenak, Ph.D., wrote on his blog a year ago: “Someone related to the criminal police, the prosecution, or the investigative judges, or perhaps even all three, abused their position and wanted to get the data on communications of almost 30,000 SDS members. Andrej Šircelj was only the collateral damage in this matter.”