Nova24TV has obtained the first bits of information about what was supposedly happening behind the four walls of the Constitutional Court on Friday, when the highly controversial decision to end the suspension of the amendment to the Radio-Television Slovenia Act was made. We also found out what is expected to happen in the coming days.
The first pieces of information about Friday’s decision of the Constitutional Court judges were very scarce, unlike in previous sessions. However, Nova24TV obtained some information from various sources about what was happening. There was no shortage of shouting, name-calling and even threats.
As is known, judges Marko Šorli and Klemen Jaklič were absent from the session. Šorli left Friday’s session of the Constitutional Court due to ill health, while Jaklič was not present at all.
Threats and pressuring of Judge Svetlič
However, Judge Rok Svetlič was present at the session, and he provided the quorum for the adoption of the controversial decision. We have learnt that Svetlič believed that the decision would not be taken on Friday. This was allegedly due to numerous pressures, and during the substantive debate Judge Špelca Mežnar allegedly also shouted. In addition, there were even calls for President Matej Accetto to stop Svetlič, even with sanctions. There were even threats of prosecution by the prosecutor’s office, where Judge Mežnar’s mother and the wife of Judge Rok Čeferin are still very influential.
Moving away from compromise
Looking ahead, there are rumours that the substantive decision on the constitutional initiative of the new Radio-Television Slovenia Act is expected to be voted on later this week, on Wednesday. Initially, it was agreed that, in line with it, the new law would be annulled by the judges, and a new legal solution would be proposed for a fairer and more balanced composition of the RTV Programme Council. According to this compromise proposal, the law should include the appointment of programme councillors by the political parties, with the government party and the opposition guaranteed a half share. It would also be agreed that the legislator would have to agree on the remaining composition of the Programme Council by a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly. This is a similar solution to the one provided for in the Judicial Council Act. This would prevent domination by one party and prevent the political subjugation of public service broadcasting. The compromise decision would also include the approval of the Editor-in-Chief of the national media outlet Radio-Television Slovenia and the programming scheme by a two-thirds majority of the Councillors.
However, problems arose in the drafting because the radical left part of the judges and magistrates did not agree to equal regulation but came up with solutions on a daily basis that would take RTV away from this. First, it was Špelca Mežnar who distanced herself from the consensus reached, and then Judge Katja Šugman Stubbs.
And it was Mežnar who allegedly put lots of pressure on Judge Rajko Knez by threatening him with a critical public reaction. Allegedly, she even threatened him that she would prevent him from continuing his career. At this point, the quintet also allegedly broke up, and since then, neither Knez nor Accetto supported the motion with no exceptions any longer, which would have given more powers to the left. It is also rumoured that it will be Judge Šugman Stubbs who is going to revote, i.e., reverse her decision before the vote is taken on the new motion to suspend the Radio-Television Slovenia Act.