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Slovenia

The incident on the Slovenian border with Italy was real

The parliamentary commission for the control of intelligence services discussed a report on Wednesday, which shows that an incident took place on May 7, in which two Slovenian soldiers stopped civilians in a forest near the border with Italy and were not orchestrated.

The incident was not orchestrated and both hikers were not members of the Antifa terrorist organization, as Prime Minister Janez Jansa claimed, commission chairman Matjaz Nemec of the opposition company SocDems told reporters after the commission considered a report marked as an internal, back door.

The report was prepared by the intelligence and security service of the Ministry of Defense (OVS) after doubts as to whether the soldiers were really involved in such an incident and whether the incident happened at all, and it was proposed to the commission by OVS director Andrej Osolnik.

Asked whether the police officers were patrolling the border together with the two soldiers, the German said that he could confirm media reports that, according to police instructions, only members of the Slovenian Army were there.

The SAF helps Slovenian police officers patrol the border to detain illegal migrants, but soldiers do not have police powers, so they must follow police instructions. The Janša government tried to temporarily give the SAF such powers so that it could help the police more effectively.

As reported by STA, Nemec said that he had sent the OVS report to the district state prosecutor’s office, which will decide on further steps.

He now expects the interior, defense and foreign ministries and the prime minister to apologize to two hikers – Danijel Malalan, a member of the Slovene minority in Italy, and his girlfriend and the Slovene minority daily Primorski Dnevnik, who broke the news of the incident.

The German said the hikers, the commander and opposition lawmakers, who demanded certain answers, were admitted to government members after the incident.

He now expects to muster the courage to apologize, adding that some media outlets, especially those close to the ruling Democrats (SDS), have portrayed Malalan negatively and accused him of being a member of a terrorist organization.

The German pointed his finger at Janša’s tweets, in which he believed that the incident was orchestrated by the deep state. He said that this caused great pain not only to Malalan and his girlfriend, but to the entire Slovenian minority in Italy.

In his first response, Defense Minister Matej Tonin said the hiker’s soldier did not show the gun, did not ask him about his identity and did not apprehend him, but simply did his job according to standard procedure.

“After the investigation, it is time to depoliticize the case in favor of Malalan and a soldier who is an extremely experienced and decorated SAF member,” Tonin tweeted, adding #truth_wins.

On 23 May, Primorski Dnevnik told the story of a 32-year-old Italian-Slovenian citizen with a temporary residence in Slovenia, who was stopped by a uniformed man in the desert in the municipality of Hrpelje-Kozina near the Italian border in early April. When a man in uniform realized that the civilian was not an illegal migrant when he spoke Slovene, he was released.

The story was followed by a series of speculations about its authenticity and the identity of the civilian, and Defense Minister Tonin immediately said it could be fake news.

He later revealed his identity to the civilian public in a bid to support his story, and the SAF chief of staff announced that the incident would be fully investigated.

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