by Staff Writers
Ljubljana (AFP) Feb 11, 2014
Slovenia's Defence Minister Roman Jakic and the mayor of the capital Ljubljana, Zoran Jankovic, have been indicted in a probe into corrupt practices in the construction of a sports facility, media reports said Tuesday.
"We have filed charges against five suspects and an entity against whom exists the founded suspicion that they took part in a scam to win a loan or benefits," Darko Majhenic, head of the national investigation office NPU, told journalists.
He did not reveal the identity of the suspects.
But information provided by Majhenic at a news conference confirmed unofficial reports broadcast on Monday by POP TV that Jakic and Jankovic, who in 2010 signed a 1.8-million-euro ($2.4-million) scam contract, were among the five suspects.
The contract, signed by Ljubljana City Hall and a Ljubljana public institute, then headed by Jakic, was part of the guarantees provided by construction company Grep to win a 100-million-euro loan and build the Stozice sports facility on Ljubljana's outskirts.
The Stozice sports hall and football stadium were inaugurated in 2010 but work on the surrounding infrastructure was stopped.
"The company took a loan of some 100 million euros but hasn't paid them back," Majhenic told journalists.
In September 2012 the NPU launched a corruption investigation into Ljubljana city hall officials during which they searched Jankovic's home and office and over 20 other locations related to the deal.
In December, when NPU investigators tried to search Jakic's home, the defence minister rejected all accusations and said if he was charged he "will not go to court as a minister" suggesting he would resign.
The country's anti-corruption watchdog reported in January 2013 it had found irregularities in the assets and bank accounts of Jankovic and former centre-right prime minister Janez Jansa.
The report led to the fall of Jansa's government and forced Jankovic to quit the leadership of his centre-left Positive Slovenija (PS) party, currently led by Prime Minister Alenka Bratusek.
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