Corporate news 24.3.2021 16:05

Prosecution rejects both criminal complaints regarding STA funding

Ljubljana, 24 March - The prosecution has rejected criminal complains by the Journalist Trade Union against UKOM director Uroš Urbanija over suspending STA funding. It also rejected UKOM's criminal complaint against STA director Bojan Veselinovič, supervisors and former UKOM boss Kristina Plavšak Krajnc over the UKOM-STA contract on public service for 2020.

STA journalists taking notes.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

The Government Communication Office (UKOM), which annually signs a contract for public service with the STA, suspended the agency's funding at the end of November over a disagreement regarding the STA's refusal to hand it certain documents.

The trade union then reported Urbanija to the prosecution in mid-December, arguing he had abused office and overstepped his powers, affecting the STA's public service.

On the same day Urbanija announced UKOM had reported to law enforcement Veselinovič, former UKOM director Plavšak Krajnc and four STA supervisors for abuse of office over the annual contract Veselinovič and Plavšak Kranjc signed in December 2019 for the public service in 2020.

The prosecution has rejected both complains, arguing there is no suspicion that Urbanija has committed the crimes alleged by the trade union.

It is clear from both criminal complaints that the dispute between the STA and UKOM results from different interpretations of the law and of their mutual relations, reads the prosecution's explanation.

Prosecutor Špela Brezigar also says the case is a clear example of disagreement of the two sides, while the criminal procedure is not designed to solve disagreements.

In January UKOM paid its overdue liabilities for STA public service in 2020, but it did not conclude the annual contract for this year.

It thus rejected to pay the January bill even if a law passed in parliament at the end of 2020 says the STA is funded in 2021 from the state budget regardless of the contract.

The STA has been waiting for the payment for 25 days now.