On Tuesday night, Nova24TV reported, that the director general of the Police, Tatjana Bobnar, partially obstructed the unannounced visit of the KNOVS members at the The National Investigation Bureau at Litostrojska in Stegne. Members of The Commission for the Supervision of Intelligence and Security Services, Žan Mahnič, Zvone Černač and Branko Simonovič, demanded access to the records, with which they could confirm or refute the suspicion that the cabinet of the Prime minister in resignation, Marjan Šarec, where the notorious Secretary of Homeland Security Damir Črnčec also works, used NPU, GPU and Sova with the intent of influencing, threatening and even blackmailing the MPs and party leaders of the potential future coalition. As first reported by Požareport, individuals were also pressured with the use of information that the police have about their past and that of their relatives. Late that night, the Police responded with a press release, where Bobnar accused Mahnič that during his hour and a half long speech, he threatened her to “think about her future,” if she does not allow full control to KNOVS. Mahnič quickly responded onTwitter and accused her, that similarly to LMŠ’s MP Jerca Korče in the case of Janez Janša’s statement about “heads rolling”, she intentionally took his words out of context, trying to slander the SDS party.
Let’s remember. On Tuesday morning, Požareport website reported that Marjan Šarec’s cabinet, through its Secretary Damir Črnčec, who was head of Sova in Janez Janša’s second term as the prime minister, delivered a list of people that need to be processed for information to certain detectives, working at the General Police Directorate. According to Bojan Požar’s reports, the main targets were individuals from SMC’s leader and Minister of Economic Development and Technology, Zdravko Počivalšek’s friend circle, MPs from the Modern Centre Party (SMC), and other MPs from the former coalition partners DeSUS and SAB.
Supposedly, the detectives were working on the privatisation of Terme Olimia and gathering information on other offences by the aforementioned officials and their family members. As Žan Mahnič stated after the conclusion of KNOVS’s supervision at the NPU, which took more than three hours, Tatjana Bobnar obstructed part of the investigation, so the suspicions could neither be confirmed, nor denied. Members of the commission were not allowed access to certain records, which would clearly indicate who were the detectives that were gathering information and which names of the politicians and their family members they were most interested in, while searching the network. According to our information, the Police mainly leaked the information on crimes and misdemeanors in the area of public law and order of the MPs and their family members. »They were supposedly threatened that the information would be made public, if they were to support the new coalition,« Mahnič stated.
Police insists that the members of KNOVS tried to obtain information for which they were not authorised
Interestingly, the Director General of the Police, Tatjana Bobnar, who left the NPU headquarters a few minutes before members of KNOVS, did not want to make a press statement, but she did later appear in a press release, in which the Police claimed that they only provided the data to which the KNOVS members are actually entitled to, under the Law on Parliamentary Oversight of Intelligence and Security Services. »Nevertheless, the members of the designated supervisory group demanded that the Director general of the Police, Tatjana Bobnar, provides clarifications on specific operational matters, which did not relate to the carrying out of the covert investigative measures and supply of the information on viewing of the Police records on specific individuals – specific MPs or politicians – in which case the Police have no legal basis to provide KNOVS with this information,« they wrote.
Director General also pointed out, that no one is untouchable for the Police, thus neither confirming, nor denying a possible viewing by any of the detectives into the records of certain people, perhaps even during the time of the supervision of the commission, because as the Director General of the Police, she states, she can not know if at this point, any police personnel are conducting a legal police action, e.g. a misdemeanor charge, and thus have to check a specific person’s records.
Tatjana Bobnar did not answer KNOVS’ questions which, according to her, related to police work outside of the statutory framework. She did, however, accuse Mahnič that he told her to »think about her future.«, but stated that she did not buckle under pressure.
What did Mahnič actually say to Bobnar?
As the story about Mahnič’s supposed threats to Bobnar was immediately latched on by the mainstream media so they could spin it in a way that says Bobnar should worry about her job, if Janez Janša comes to power, SDS’s MP immediately responded on his Twitter profile. He wrote, »Tatjana Bobnar should provide my statement in its entirety and not be like Jerca Korče (LMŠ’s MP), when she was talking about heads rolling and was caught lying by the transcript. What I said was that she should think about her future, because if KNOVS finds out that such behaviour is protected by Slovenian Police, she will be prosecuted.«
Tatjana Bobnar should write my statement in its entirety and not be like @Je_rca, when she was talking about heads rolling and was caught lying by the transcript. What I said was that she should think about her future, because if KNOVS finds out that such behaviour is protected by @policija_si, she will be prosecuted. https://t.co/cVuMEAFrI7
— Žan Mahnič (@ZanMahnic) February 18, 2020
Public lies about the words of an SDS MP have previously already been made by Jerca Korče
This is not the first attempt at trying to take words of an SDS MP out of context and twisting them for political gains. Namely, when talking about the illegal activities of Marjan Šarec, who prevented KNOVS from supervising Sova, Janez Janša expressed himself metaphorically: »If the prime minister doesn’t see this now, he will end up losing his head over this, as it seems to be right now.« Jerca Korče, who also got into a verbal confrontation with Mahnič over this on Twitter, publicly accused Janša that he threatened that heads would roll, but the SDS’s leader then demanded the disclosure of the transcript, which proved that LMŠ’s MP was lying, which made such a fool out of her that she, probably by the order of her boss, went completely quiet on Twitter for a few weeks.
Jerca Korče did not miss an opportunity to »give her two cents« this time as well, as she continued her verbal confrontation with Mahnič. »An attack on the independent law enforcement agencies is a clear indicator of disrespect for the long-standing struggle for a free democratic society. Attacks on the judiciary system, journalists, the police… Who is next on the list? Let’s all get together and tackle climate change together … Could that work,« she wrote, provokingly. This is clearly not of her brightest tweets, as shown by the response of her followers on Twitter.
Oh well, Jerca. So besides lying you also don’t understand anything.
— Igor Završnik 🇸🇮 (@IgorZavrsnik) February 18, 2020
The press have directly provoked Žan Mahnič after the supervision at the NPU, asking who is the person obstructing their work, but the SDS’s MP was pretty blunt: »It is well known in whose interest it is that the new coalition does not form, certainly Marjan Šarec’s party, and probably the Social democrats (SD) as well.«
It is also pretty clear that he joke is over, judging by the quick and nervous response from both of the main players of the tapping affair, Marjan Šarec and Damir Črnčec. The prime minister in resignation wrote on his Twitter, »that when certain websites that are close to SDS report that I ordered lists and I don’t know what else about the parties that are negotiating for their part in the forming government, it is clear that they are describing their own methods. This is an unprecedented attack on the Police. This is how it would work for them. And it probably already has, at some point.«
When certain websites that are close to SDS report that I ordered lists and I don’t know what else about the parties that are negotiating for their part in the forming government, it is clear that they are describing their own methods. This is an unprecedented attack on the Police. This is how it would work for them. And it probably already has, at some point.
— Marjan Šarec (@sarecmarjan) February 18, 2020
Damir Črnčec denied the allegations through Nataša Pirc Musar
As the Požareport and Demokracija have reported, this time Črnec denied the accusations using the Law firm Pirc Musar & Lemut Strle: »Damir Črnčec has never set up any spying network for tracking and collecting data on the politicians from SMC, DeSUS and SAB or their family members and close relatives, or any other kind of spying network. It is by no means true that Damir Črnčec used the police and the intelligence services for his own interests, or that he leveraged his past leadership positions. Damir Črnčec does not act in accordance with the instructions of Marjan Šarec, does not interfere with (and has never interfered with) or abused the government’s institutions.«
However, political experts believe that this time, Šarec’s Secretary found himself in a really difficult position, as up to this point, he has never made a statement, when being accused of something. But when it comes to the tapping affair, things are different. To quote the leader of SD Dejan Židan, who made the statement a few days ago on the show Tarča on Televizija Slovenija: »If, what certain media channels are reporting proves to be true, then we are on the brink of the greatest political affair in the country’s history.«