On the show Tarča (Target), director of the Slovenian Press Agency, Bojan Veselinovič, announced a reprimand before a lawsuit against the Prime Minister Janez Janša and Uroš Urbanija, due to the accusations regarding the pressuring, settling the score, and co-responsibility for the death of the former editor of the Slovenian Press Agency, Borut Meško. Urbanija is looking forward to the lawsuit, as the public will finally learn about Veselinovič’s methods, used when he fired the terminally ill editor Meško. Veselinovič rejects all allegations, saying that he did not pressure Meško nor tried to settle the score with him. In response to the reprimand before a lawsuit, a video appeared online that proves that the editor was being pressured at the time, which has already been strongly condemned by the Association of Journalists and Publicists, who also publicly accused the government of political pressures.
Director of the Slovenian Press Agency (Slovenska tiskovna agencija – hereinafter referred to as the STA), Bojan Veselinovič, was confirmed as the director of the agency by the Borut Pahor government. As a result, political pressure was allegedly being exerted on the agency, after which the then-editor-in-chief of the STA, Borut Meško, received a notice of dismissal and termination of employment, due to culpable reasons, which were, in fact, political, the then-president of the Association of Journalists and Publicists of Slovenia, Igor Kršinar explained at the time.
Back then, the Association also emphasised that in the event of Meško’s dismissal, the then-Prime Minister Borut Pahor will be responsible for it, as he appointed Veselinovič to the position of STA director at a government session. “There should be no ignorance or shifting of the blame,” Kršinar pointed out. They were also critical of the bad situation in the media outlet, which is 100 percent owned by the state, and where the director is appointed by the government directly at one of its session, and the Prime Minister is then responsible for its work.
Nobody has the right to fire someone with mobbing
At the time, Meško had a three-hour hearing before the Journalistic Office regarding the termination of his employment, which was not the first procedure. “In the month of May, director Veselinovič issued the first reprimand to me regarding my performance of work duties, and in the case of alleged violations, the termination of employment would also follow,” Meško explained. At the time, Urbanija, as a former STA editor, emphasised that Veselinovič had every legitimate right to dismiss editor Meško, but only in accordance with the law. “No director has the right to fire people with mobbing,” Urbanija pointed out.
Urbanija was also very critical of Veselinovič’s claims, as he stated that he did not call on anyone to resign, but at the same time, he also issued reprimands before termination of employment, arguing that there was no meeting, which, in his opinion should have taken place, but did not. Urbanija also emphasised that Meško did his job well. “Veselinovič uses all possible ways, pressures and forms of harassment, with no means being off-limit in order for him to achieve his goals. He is willing to do anything to get me to leave the position of editor-in-chief as soon as possible,” Meško was clear, with Veselinovič announcing even more pressure. Due to the pressure, Kršinar also publicly accused the government and Pahor of exerting pressure on the editorial policy of the STA, as Meško was being pressured and was even subject to mobbing, simply because the government did not like him. Later, Meško fell terminally ill, and director Veselinovič handed him a termination of his employment contract while Meško was already seriously ill, which is why the Prime Minister justifiably accused Veselinovič of being co-responsible for Meško’s death.
Veselinovič sent a reprimand before a lawsuit against Janša and Urbanija
“Today’s confrontation with the director of STA Veselinovič on the show Tarča. The show should have happened in 2009 already, when Veselinovič, in a brutal showdown and long-term mobbing, sent the termination of employment to the then-editor-in-chief Borut Meško, to his hospital bed,” Urbanija was critical of Veselinovič in Tarča. Veselinovič said that these were untrue and insulting allegations that are damaging his honour and reputation, so he would use all legal means in court, but the published recording shows otherwise.
Despite the footage being revealed to the public, Veselinovič continues to reject all allegations
The video clearly and now also publicly shows that Veselinovič really did put pressure on Meško; however, he refuses to admit his guilt in this matter. As Urbanija explained on Twitter, he received the reprimand before a lawsuit via e-mail, while, as already mentioned, Veselinovič continues to reject all allegations. He denies any harassment and settling of the score with Meško and says that he did not know about his illness, despite the fact that Meško publicly exposed his pressuring at the time, as can be seen from the video that was recently published.