The Murska Sobota District Court has opened a formal investigation against Slovenia Justice Minister Marjan Dikaučič over suspicion of tax evasion and document falsification, the web portal of the commercial broadcaster POP TV reported on Tuesday. The minister has denied all allegations.
The media in Slovenia said that the District State Prosecution in Murska Sobota asked the court to open a formal investigation in August 2020, while a criminal complaint against Dikaučič had been filed there by the Financial Administration (FURS) back in August 2017.
The case relates to the time when Dikaučič, who was appointed justice minister in mid-June, was the liable person in the company BGA and the company Prevozi Žižek in receivership, based in Gornja Bistrica, south-east of Murska Sobota.
Preliminary inquiries allegedly established that Prevozi Žižek avoided paying value-added tax (VAT) when selling goods to BGA under fictitious contracts, which were allegedly signed by Dikaučič.
The plan was to sell cargo vehicles through two companies in Croatia and Germany to avoid paying EUR 52,000 in VAT, the portal 24ur said on Tuesday.
The district state prosecution confirmed at the beginning of September for the portal that it had received the relevant criminal complaint from the FURS in August 2017 over the listed suspicions.
It said that two years later it had sought legal assistance from the Bosnia and Herzegovina authorities. Having received a reply in February 2020, the prosecution said it had filed for a formal investigation with the Murska Sobota District Court on 24 August 2020.
At the time, Minister Dikaučič denied the allegations for the portal. “I handed the entire documentation for the alleged act to the police in 2019 and was heard by the court in 2019. Since my signature on the documents was obviously falsified, I proposed to the court for a graphologist to verify the authenticity of the signature,” he said at the time.
The minister added that he had “nothing to hide, all the documents are with the relevant authorities, which I trust will do their job correctly”.
Allegations against Dikaučič have been circulating in public ever since he was put forward as the candidate for justice minister earlier this year, suggesting he worked with shell companies in his previous job. He has denied any wrongdoing.
Two complaints filed against him in 2015 and 2016 over alleged violation of worker rights were set aside because the prosecution found no reasonable ground suggesting Dikaučič committed the act he was suspected of.
The minister is facing a vote of no confidence in parliament, requested by the centre-left opposition parties over the government’s failure to appoint delegated European prosecutors.
LMŠ leader Marjan Šarec said this charge had not been included in the motion but nevertheless proved that the opposition’s attempt to oust him was correct.