WhatsApp Logo Subscribe
For News Alert

News

Slovenia minister detained in virus gear graft probe

July 1, 2020 02:12 PM


Twitter Share Facebook Share WhatsApp Share

Slovenia's interior minister resigned and the economy minister was detained on Tuesday in connection with an investigation into alleged irregularities in the purchase of protective gear during the new coronavirus pandemic.

Announcing his resignation, Interior Minister Ales Hojs said he had only been informed about the probe that day, claiming it was launched to discredit and bring down the current four-party centre-right coalition government.

"I think this is a politically motivated action," Hojs told journalists, adding that the police chief had also resigned in protest over the action, which he said was solely the initiative of the country's special police forces.

Slovenian media have reported numerous alleged irregularities during the acquisition of protective equipment and respirators shortly after a new centre-right government was appointed in March.

They have accused Economy Minister Zdravko Pocivalsek of favouring some companies that did not offer adequate equipment. Pocivalsek has denied any wrongdoing.

Special police forces searched several houses Tuesday as part of an ongoing "investigation over alleged irregularities in the order and acquisition of protective gear", they said in a statement.

While the police did not mention Pocivalsek, Hojs said he was informed the minister had been detained.

Slovenian media reported that Pocivalsek was released late Tuesday.

Since taking office, Prime Minister Janez Jansa has introduced strict confinement measures to contain the COVID-19 outbreak and started acquiring personal protective gear and respirators, claiming the previous government had left the EU member unprepared for the pandemic.

Jansa himself on Tuesday dismissed the special police forces' "double standards" and "selective approach", claiming they had failed to investigate other cases.

Thousands have thronged Ljubljana every Friday for two months in protest over the protective gear scandal, as well as government attacks against critical media and journalists.



Most Read

  1. Missing young boy found dead at Islamabad’s Trail 5 Missing young boy found dead at Islamabad’s Trail 5
  2. More flights cancelled from Karachi Airport More flights cancelled from Karachi Airport
  3. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif declares May 28 as official holiday to celebrate Youm-e-Takbeer Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif declares May 28 as official holiday to celebrate Youm-e-Takbeer
  4. Janhvi Kapoor flaunts insight on paparazzi ‘celebrity card’ culture Janhvi Kapoor flaunts insight on paparazzi ‘celebrity card’ culture
  5. Veteran actor Talat Hussain passes away Veteran actor Talat Hussain passes away
  6. Rabeeca Khan and Hussain Tareen seal their bond from ‘Best Friends to Life Partners’ Rabeeca Khan and Hussain Tareen seal their bond from ‘Best Friends to Life Partners’

Opinion

  1. Congo coup failed, Malanga killed
    Congo coup failed, Malanga killed

    By Naveed Aman Khan

  2. Hats off to Fatah-II
    Hats off to Fatah-II

    By Naveed Aman Khan

  3. New twist in PTI founder’s strategy towards Military Establishment
    New twist in PTI founder’s strategy towards Military Establishment

    By Salim Bokhari

  4. Revoke the heat stroke
    Revoke the heat stroke

    By Dr Asif Channer

  5. Defiance, sacrifice & national resilience
    Defiance, sacrifice & national resilience

    By Naveed Aman Khan

  6. Maryam Nawaz Sharif's Police Uniform: Breaking Gender Stereotypes, Not Minds
    Maryam Nawaz Sharif's Police Uniform: Breaking Gender Stereotypes, Not Minds

    By Alysha Khan