ECB threatens Slovenia on central bank raid

By Marja Novak and Balazs Koranyi

LJUBLJANA/FRANKFURT, July 7 Slovenian prosecutors put central bank chief Bostjan Jazbec under investigation for possible “criminal abuse of office” in a 2013 bank overhaul and rebuffed calls to return seized documents in a rare, escalating fight with the European Central Bank.

Police confiscated documents in a raid at the Bank of Slovenia, part of the ECB’s network of euro zone central banks, taking files from Jazbec, some staff members and a former deputy governor in a pre-criminal investigation.

ECB President Mario Juncker immediately condemned the move, asking European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to intervene and threatening legal action for an infringement of the ECB’s legal privileges and immunities.

“Seized equipment contains ECB information, and such information is protected under directly applicable primary EU law,” Draghi said in a letter to the Slovenian State Prosecutor General Zvonko Fiser. “The ECB will also explore possible appropriate legal remedies under Slovenian law.”

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