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This is how Janez Janša reacted to the decision of the High Court in Celje: The Slovenian caricature of the judiciary accumulates disgrace upon disgrace

The High Court in Celje fully upheld the default judgment of the Velenje District Court, which ruled that SDS president Janez Janša must pay 10,000 euros in compensation to the SD party for statements about the ownership of the building where SD has its headquarters. Janša has already responded to the verdict in a tweet.

At the end of October last year, the District Court in Velenje issued a default judgment and, among other things, decided that Janša must publish the following apology on Twitter: “I, the defendant, Ivan (Janez) Janša, apologise to the plaintiff, the SD party, for my untrue posts on the social network Twitter about SD operating from a stolen Jewish villa at Levstikova street 15 in Ljubljana. This villa was not stolen, and SD acquired ownership of it in a legal way,” the SD party stated in a press release at the time. Janša appealed the verdict, but he was unsuccessful in his appeal, which made the verdict legally binding.

It is an almost unbelievable precedent in the legal practice of dealing with freedom of speech in Slovenia, because this time it was not about the right of an individual to defend his dignity, but the court ruled that “Janša crossed the line of respecting the rights of others” by insulting a political party and not just any political party, but the one that is the successor of the system that “bought” Moskovič’s villa under still unexplained circumstances.

No evidence

About the villa, the Social Democrats have not yet presented any credible reason why it should be theirs because it once belonged to the communist dictatorship, nor have they explained the extremely unusual circumstances shrouded in the grey of the post-war era, after which the communist dictatorship acquired the villa. With its ruling, the Court established an incredible precedent, where one of the two parties in the proceedings is believed without real evidence and where one party in the proceedings has taken on an almost personal legal identity, since with a simple statement (which has not been proven to be untrue) an individual can be treated as if he had offended the collective of a political party.

First and second class

It is another in a series of black spots on the Slovenian judiciary, which more than openly flirts with left-wing politics. In a country where judges attend social democrats’ picnics and where the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court are actively overturning covid measures that are completely normal in other countries, we can openly question whether we still live in a legal state. Especially when we consider that the president of the largest party on the right has already been convicted twice for a verbal offense, while, following the Court’s instructions, the wiretaps of Mayor Janković in which he was caught blackmailing a young mother for sexual relations, were deleted. And at the same time, despite the Stožice debacle, where subcontractors failed due to systemic corruption of a public project – one even committed suicide – they have never been able to prove his guilt, even though the black hole of his failures is still visible today along the Ljubljana ring road. Apparently, we really do live in a world of first and second class citizens.

Andrej Žitnik

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