News 2015

Massive abuse of investigating authorities as a judge orders confiscation of an e-mail server with the entire party-member correspondence of the largest Slovenian opposition party SDS

17.12.2015

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  • Today’s order to investigate HQ of the Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) is clearly unconstitutional and contrary to the constitutional criminal procedural law, as it is decreeing intervention into all electronic data of a political party, according to the constitutional professor dr. Avbelj
  • Judge who protected those that stole billions from Slovenian banks orders confiscation of servers of the largest Slovenian opposition party and justifies confiscation with an investigation of the SDS’s deputy Andrej Šircelj, who does not even have an office or a computer in the SDS’s headquarters

This morning the Slovenian police carried out an investigation, in which all the data from the server of the largest Slovenian opposition party - the Slovenian Democratic Party – has been ordered to be confiscated. The move was carried out at the party's headquarters and at its parliamentary group in the Slovenian Parliament.

As the police states, the aim has been the seizure of the computers and all the correspondence, since the police have been searching for possible evidence of the alleged crimes of the leadership of the Bank Assets Management Company (BAMC). More specifically they have been investigating the SDS’s member of the Slovenian Parliament Andrej Šircelj (SDS/EPP), the president of the parliamentary Commission for Control of the Budget and Public Finances. In the past MP Šircelj was a head of the BAMC, which was, with the help of foreign experts, implementing an accelerated privatization of the Slovenian economy requested by the European Commission. In 2015 an international scandal burst out when the Left Slovenian government in this authority suspended the contracts with the foreign experts.

Particularly problematic is the fact that the police ordered the seizure of the server with all the correspondence of the SDS. Thus the police intended to extract information related to alleged crimes, referring to the appointment of the management board of the BAMC and consultancy contracts. This happened regardless to the fact that MP Šircelj has no official or unofficial office and computers at the party's headquarters nor the party has been in any way involved in the BAMC's operations. Therefore, it is more than strange that the investigation has been expanded to the headquarters of the SDS, the largest opposition party. In reality, this is another political attack on the SDS, involving the abuse of investigating authorities.

According to Dr. Matej Avbelj, the constitutional professor and the dean of the Faculty for State and European Studies, today’s order to investigate headquarters of the Slovenian Democratic Party is clearly unconstitutional and contrary to the constitutional criminal procedural law, as it is decreeing intervention into all electronic data of a political party. “Today’s investigation is a convincingly disproportionate measure, a classic fishing expedition prohibited by the Slovenian constitution. The investigation order does not even explain how it meets the constitutional principle of proportionality. Such an injunction is a scandal”, stressed Dr. Avbelj.

It is also a matter of an outrageous intrusion into the privacy of the Slovenian Democratic Party, its members and MP Šircelj, who can take credit for the beginnings of privatization processes in the time of the 2012 government led by PM Janez Janša. It is also a well-known fact that the current government led by PM Cerar is acting contrary to the privatization efforts. First it has removed all the efficient foreign experts from the BAMC, and now apparently tends to criminalize their work.

It is significant that the investigation order was signed by a judge Deša Cener, who is known as the judge that just recently prevented parliamentary scrutiny in the investigation of certain "banksters" who stole billions of taxpayers’ money and have been employees of the Nova Ljubljanska Banka - the largest Slovenian bank.

After an all-day legal battle, the Slovenian Police finally withdrew their intention to seize the SDS’s email servers.

The date of the investigation is also no coincidence. Abuse of authorities just few days before election time, has become a tradition for Slovenian left. In that way they successfully divert the attention from the real issues to the alleged wrongdoings of the biggest political force in Slovenia. On Sunday Slovenia will hold a referendum on the question of same-sex marriage.