Slovenian prosecutors charge Bratusek for abuse of power

Slovenia's prosecutorial authorities have drawn up an indictment against a member of parliament and a former prime minister, Alenka Bratusek, for having abused her premiership to benefit herself through nominating herself for the Slovenian candidate for a European Commissioner in 2014, the Ljubljana-based "Delo" daily reported on Tuesday.

The prosecution, without revealing the identity of the indictee, confirmed that it had proposed to the court that an investigation be launched on suspicion of abuse of office.

Incumbent Preisdent Borut Pahor and Prime Minister Miro Cerar might be among the witnesses to testify in this case.

Bratusek's lawyer Aleksandar Ceferin confirmed that this case involved his client, and described the proposed indictment as absurd. "This is a blanket attempt to accuse politicians," he said.

The prosecutorial authorities apparently want Cerar and Pahor to testify about their contacts with Bratusek and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker about disputed events at a Slovenian government session in mid-2014, when the Bratusek cabinet was the outgoing government and when it proposed that Bratusek and two more candidates should be the Slovenian nominee for a commissioner in the new EC led by Juncker.

The media speculate that the position was nevertheless reserved for Bratusek and that Juncker had insisted on a strong political figure that was a high-ranking official for that post.

Cerar was against Bratusek's nomination.

Bratusek withdrew her candidacy after she did not receive approval from two European Parliament committees. The European Parliament's industry and environment committees rejected Bratusek's candidacy for a vice-president of the European Commission for the energy union. Only 13 members voted in favour, while 122 were against and two abstained.

Slovenia's Violeta Bulc was later appointed Transport Commissioner in the Juncker Commission.

Last update: Tue, 15/03/2016 - 13:52

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