Blaz Zgaga

Statement Blaz Zgaga

It is a coincidence that my first major investigation was connected to Germany and its role in the break-up of Yugoslavia. In 1996 I revealed wrongdoing during a Siemens sale of two radars and air traffic control systems to Slovenia in 1991. Even Helmut Kohl personally helped in smoothing this deal financed by the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau.

Later I published many other revelations related to Germany, about secret German loans which were used by Slovenia to purchase Russian anti-air missiles during a UN arms embargo, and how weapons and ammunition from East German Army military warehouses were transited to Yugoslav battlefields.

Slovenian intelligence agency Sova has been collaborating closely with the BND for decades. In 2007 it was revealed that Sova and BND have a joint telecommunication surveillance center in Ljubljana, where the main telecommunication cable lies which connects Western Europe to the Balkans. The BND contributed equipment, Sova contributed location and infrastructure, and they are sharing the obtained information.

I have often been under surveillance by intelligence agencies. The best Slovenian hackers warned me: „You are 100% sure under 24/7 surveillance.“ Sources from the intelligence services told me that I am also a person of interest for foreign intelligence agencies.

Being under surveillance negatively affects my work, as sources from the intelligence community know it is risky to contact me.

As European Union citizens share equal human rights, it is not acceptable that journalists from one country have better privacy protections than journalists from other countries. This is also damaging competition in media market. When some journalists are spied upon and others are not, the former face greater risks in communicating with sources and thus in getting new important stories. Spying against journalists is damaging the freedom of expression and democracy.