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    Copyright: The following text is for personal information only. Any professional use or publication in written or electronic form is subject to an agreement with AIM, 17 rue Rebeval, F-75019 Paris, France

    SUN, 13 MAR 1994 21:20:48 GMT


    Janez Jansa, the Defense Minister of Slovenia has been in the offensive regarding the numerous unproven stories about him, accusing various Slovenien left-wing as well as centre politicians for malversations, theft and the like, although the latest events show that it was all probably just part of a tactic based on the principle "attack is the best defense." The Minister, holding a degree in the field of defense, acquired at the Faculty of Social Sciences, is most likely well aware of that. He is most probably equally familiar with the principle, "divide, rule, distribute." As of late, however, his very tactics are turning against him.

    It is difficult to predict how long the court proceedings that have just been instituted in Maribor against the four accused in the "arms process" will last, but what is clear is the fact that court proceedings have been set in motion at a most unconvenient time for Janez Jansa, the Slovenian Defense Minister, who "discovered" the affair more than six months ago, owing,as he himself pointed out, to an anonymous letter written on a piece of toilet paper. The four men that have been accused, do not look at all worried, at least that was the impression that could be acquired during the the first few days of the trial, in fact, the number one defendant, Silvo Komar, at one time the head of the Maribor branch of the security and intelligence service, known as a quiet, solitary man, as is expected from a man of his profession, winked playfully at his aquaintances in the audience.

    If for no other reason, the trial can confirm all that has been written and talked about lately, that the intelligence service of the Ministry of Defense (VOMO) was incompetent, considering that foreign Illyshin planes loaded with arms that have been declared as humanitarian aid have been landing without any problems at the Maribor airport, that containers from these planes (at least two) have been reloaded into helicopters of a third state that were then repainted to look like Red Cross choppers, only to the fly off, according to some, either in the direction of Fikret Abdic's Cazinska Krajina, or else, according to others, to Knin, without the Ministry of Defense, i.e., Minister of Defense knowing anything about it, although everyone else did, including the cleaning ladies at the Maribor airport - since it all took place in broad daylight, and began as far back as September 1992. Therefore, a piece of toilet paper that was used for writing an anonymous message which reached the hands of the Minister,can attain,as far as the chronology of the "Slovenian Spring" is concerned, greater importance than the well-known military document that marked the beginning of the "Slovenian Spring" - and due to which Jansa ended up in prison, while a piece of toilet paper that was used inappropriately, can remove him from office.

    In the last ten days or so, the Ministry of Defense,namely its number one man, experienced a number of embarrassments,owing to which Jansa's public image has been seriously shaken, while popularity polls show that he is losing his rating and that even his closest associates at one time are turning their backs on him. Among the most outspoken is Spomenka Hribar, a M.S. in sociology and one of the most well known dissidents of the former regime. At the outset of the creation of the Slovenian state, she and Jansa were close associates, however, in time they began drifting further and further apart. A few days ago, Mrs. Hribar published an article in " Delo" in which she compared Jansa's methods of that of Milosevic and pointed out that his agency, the VOMO was overstepping its authority and that Jansa had created an illegal intelligence service for following and bugging the homes of the members of civic parties.

    A few days ago, Milan Kucan the President of the Republic, said the same thing over Radio Slovenia. Spomenka Hribar reproached Jansa for slandering abroad the highest representatives of the State, pointing out that the West never actually understood the real essense of bolshevism. "Due to that reason Jansa has been partly successful in presenting himself to the so called world as the protagonist of changes and the herald and a of a new era - vis-a-vis Kucan who - according to Jansa - is the advocate of the restoration of communism in Slovenia. Actually, quite the opposite is true: Jansa is the defender of (right) avant-gardism/populism, supporting thus the continuity of the Bolshevik methodology of rule (Who is not with us, he is against us! namely: We were nothing, let us now be everything!), while Kucan is the champion of legalism, i.e. the rule of the law - or of the peaceful transition from one into another system..." Spomenka Hribar writes.

    The decision of the the Parliament, not to approve the budgetary demands of the Ministry Defense and to cut down consideradbly the asked for amount ( 84.3 billion tolars - more than a million DEM) came as a great surprise to Jansa - who had been very self-confident until then - to 76.8 billion. The blow was perhaps not so much caused by the cutting down of the requested amount, as by the answer of the Prime Minister, Dr. Janez Drnovsek to the letter in which the Minister warns the Prime Minister that rejecting the Ministry's budgetary requests meant the violation of the coalition agreement.

    The Prime Minister calmly responded that any additional budgetary adjustments were out of the question, and that he expected all parties represented in Government to support the draft budget, implying that he expected the same from Jansa's Social Democrats, and that if any of the parties did not wish to do so, namely, be members of the coalition, could abandon it at any time they wished. Although the episode concerning the budget took place ten or so days ago, neither have the Social Democrats withdrawn from the coalition nor has Jansa indicated that he intends to resign.

    The third blow, not to Jansa as the Minister but rather to the policy he was pursuing, was the Government's decision to transfer to the President of the state, Milan Kucan, all constitutional powers as supreme commander, meaning that Minister Jansa, who has been openly and publicly attacking not the office of President of State but rather the person of Milan Kucan in an attempt to belittle him by all means and in every possible way, could no longer sign decrees reagarding the shortening of the duration of military service,since henceforth it would be within the constitutional competences of the President of the Republic.

    In other words, Jansa had shortened at his discretion as Minister, the duration of the military service of the last generation of recruits, although his Ministry is empowered only to propose such a measure to the President of State, who is the one to put his signature on such such decrees. Another public blow was the discovery that Jansa, without informing any other state bodies, had in his Ministry at least three American officers who had access to all defense documents and plans and who had to leave Slovenia when the period of time they were invited to spend there ended, at least that was the official statement, without having been replaced by new ones, a fact that was not announced or in any way explained.

    The fourth blow was certainly, the criminal proceedings instituted by Milan Sustar, Jansa's associate until recently, the man in charge of housing issues in the Ministry of Defense, and who has been working, as of January 1, 1994 in the Deputy Club of the Slovenian National Party headed by Zmago Jelincic, the man who filed five suits against the Minister and informed of them the complete state and political leadership, being afraid "that the public prosecutor in Ljubljana would reject the mentioned charges due to political reasons, instead of issuing an indictment immediately..." In addition, the Public Accountany Office has also established a large number of irregularities in the financial operations of the Ministry of Defense, and its representatives spent 49 days examining the financial transactions of the Ministry after which they prepared a 58 page report.

    In any case,the most serious charges against Jansa concern the allotment of flats that were the property of the former Army. There are 8017 such flats in Slovenia. They make up part of the property of the former common state and until the succession process is terminated, have been temporarily given for management and use to the Ministry of Defense, which can not sell them but only give them for use and that solely to the employees of the Ministry.

    However, according to a decision of the Minister, i.e., Janez Jansa, 85 such flats were given to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, 25 to the Ministry of Finance, four to the football team from Ajdovscina(!) and a number of flats to journalists and editors of certain popular Slovenian newspapers, which although not the official papers of the Ministry of Defense, have devoted (and still do) considerable space to the work of the Ministry and the Minister personally - naturally favourably intoned - through interviews or else by proclaiming him the personality of the year! Even the Ljubljana Diocese is on the list of those who have received a flat from the housing fund of the former Army, namely,a flat was given to headmaster of the Catholic High School.

    If the debt is not of a material kind, it most certainly is of a moral one. The Minister surely made a mistake when he gave, as in the mentioned cases, the flats for use without any public competition, soliciting for tenders, but rather according to his free and arbitrary will. This is, in other words, called illegal, and can even be classified as corruption, and considering that someone gave away something that was not his, and to some one who does not have the right to it, then it can be called - theft.