Jože Biščak, former editor-in-chief of the magazine Demokracija and former director of Nova obzorja publishing house, who together with his external colleague Aleksandar Škorc, was convicted in the first instance at the beginning of the week for insulting the human dignity of illegal migrants, sent a letter to the Judicial Council of the Republic of Slovenia as well as to the Ministry of Justice and the President of the District Court in Ljubljana, in which he informed them that in the court process in the case of Škorc’s gloss there had been a serious violation of the confidentiality of the business data of a private company (publishing house Nova obzorja, which publishes the magazine Demokracija).
As the director at the time, he sent commercially sensitive data at the request of the law enforcement authorities and marked them with the highest level of confidentiality, but the judiciary and the prosecutor’s office did not take this into account and publicly disclosed them twice. “Despite the fact that I warned three times (once in the pre-trial proceedings, twice at the main hearings) that it is outrageous and unacceptable for the state, represented by the prosecution and the judiciary, to handle the company’s data, which is marked as a business secret of the highest level of protection confidentiality, so negligently, judge Primož Štrancar, although he was aware of it, knowingly violated it and disclosed the information publicly again in the verdict. Although this may seem to some to be a small matter, it shows the attitude that the state has towards private individuals, towards those who really feed it. He has no respect for private citizens, he acts as an absolute master over the lives, work, and property of private citizens. This is also shown by the government, which would dictate what traders must sell and at what price,” Biščak wrote on the Twitter social network.
His letter to the Judicial Council is published in its entirety.
even though I am not a so-called entitled petitioner by law, I am still filing a petition (complaint) against judge Primož Štrancar, who knowingly violated the confidentiality of information (business secret) at the main hearing on September 12th at the District Court in Ljubljana. I am aware that my initiative will be dismissed by your disciplinary prosecutor for formal reasons (unjustified initiator) anyway, so please take this letter as a notice of a gross violation of the rights of a private individual or a private company, which the aforementioned judge has indulged in.
In the first half of 2021, the private publishing company Nova obzorja Ltd. received a letter from the Department of the Criminal Police (PU Ljubljana), asking us to provide information on the sold edition of Demokracija from December 3rd, 2020, and the number of outlets. Since the company is not obliged to disclose this information according to current regulations (only information about the printed circulation must be made public), I, as the then director of the company Nova obzorja Ltd. wrote in the report:
“We are providing you with the desired information. At the same time, we must remind you that the Nova obzorja publishing company is a private company and all information (with the exception of the print edition, which is publicly announced) is defined as a business secret of the highest level of confidentiality protection. We ask you to treat this data as such and not to pass it on to third parties, as otherwise you will be liable for damages.”
Then it started. District State Prosecutor Alenka Jesenko disclosed the information in the indictment dated June 8th, 2021 (Kt/23361/2020/AJ), which is public. At the first hearing on March 16th, 2022, I specifically warned the prosecution of this breach of business confidentiality.
Even at the last hearing on September 12th, 2022, in my closing address, I warned the prosecution not to allow themselves to reveal something that a private company has designated as a business secret. This is what I said (Minutes of the Main Hearing of September 12th, 2022):
“Dear Prosecutor, I would like to lay something on your heart. At that time, I was the director of Nova obzorja Ltd., namely the police asked for data on circulation and subscribers. I forwarded them and specifically wrote that it was a business secret. What did the executive branch do? It publicly published the company’s information, which is a business secret.”
Then came the shock. Although judge Primož Štrancar was physically present the entire time, the question arises whether he was also mentally present at the hearing. During the court process, I pointed out the violation of the secrecy of the private company’s data twice, and he made it public once more in the announcement of the verdict! Who thinks anyone is a fool? Can the prosecutor’s office and the court (executive and judicial branches of government) really afford (despite two warnings) such a gross violation of the business secrets of a private company? I emphasise: not once, but twice, the confidentiality of data was violated during this process! This is an unprecedented audacity, a display of the country’s muscle against a private individual and a private company. Can you please explain to me how this could have happened? And who do I turn to in this country to address this and take action? Will this again pass as if nothing happened? As if to say, since it is a private person, we can do whatever we want with him.
If you happen to want it, I can send you the complete documentation and evidence.
Have a nice day,
Jože Biščak, former director of Nova obzorja Ltd.