Before giving his reasons for the judgement reached in the case of Milko Novič, Zvezdan Radonjić has spoken out about the inadmissible pressure exerted on him to condemn dr. Novič. We disclose the transcript of his speech and the audio recording as well at the end of the article.
"However, it is not customary for an oral explanation of the judgement to begin with the circumstances that have accompanied the trial, but in this case it is necessary to do so. I am doing this for the first time.
When the case was assigned to me, five or six judges have told me that it was good as I was the only one that could lead the case to its conclusion. They did not refer to my expertise, but to my unconventionality. So I have immersed myself into it and studied well the case. Before the trial began, I went to a top class legal expert and told him literally what was going to happen during the trial – and it did so happen as predicted.
Soon after the proceedings began, Marjan Pogačnik, the president of the District Court in Ljubljana, started visiting me and also people started calling and demanding him I should be disciplined. That I should lead the trial properly, as a judge should. On 14th of January 2019, written statements, demanding my exclusion from the trial and to admonish me, have started to appear; on 16th of January the head of the Specialized State Prosecutor’s Office, Mr. Furlan advised Pogačnik I were to be penalized, disciplined. On 17th of January they demanded my disqualification, as well as on 18th of January. Then false rumors started to circulate about me saying that I used the information not included in the Court file. But all my information was contained by the case Novič, as well as by the case Michel. On 12th of February, the injury attorney demanded a disqualification of (expert) Štular, and afterwards the Specialized State Prosecutor’s Office did the same. On 28th of March 2019, I was announced to be a subject of criminal procedure, as well as disciplinary proceedings and the same went for Štular.
On 9th March 2019, a Supreme Court judge, acting as disciplinary prosecutor, filed a demand to initiate disciplinary proceedings against me. On 2nd of April, after a month, this demand was served to me, mixed up with old disciplinary documents, in order to mislead me as much as possible.
Ultimately, on 16th of April, there is a notice in the newspaper, bringing the statement of the Chair of Supreme Court, that the beginning of criminal proceedings is a prerequisite to get rid of me and to suspend me. Marjan Pogačnik, president of the (District) Court, on the same occasion said that he “does not know anything about this”. To this day, more than 105 articles were published about the trial, but none of them stated that the trial to Milko Novič was fair.
Mladina and Dnevnik are synchronously attacking me. They are publishing the information on my private life and from my medical record. I referred to a historian who studied the stalinist legal proceedings. During the entire Soviet Union period, nothing similar happened in comparison to the events that were happening to me in those four months. Who stands behind all this, I do not know. Milko Novič is not so important and I am not so important in order to be treated like this. The message is clear; the judge shall not judge fairly, there should not be a fair trial. I judged fairly It will cost me my career.
I will never be promoted. In a month, most probably I’ll be suspended. The fact that Novic had a fair trial is conditioned by my decision to ruin my career.
Those of you who will demand the judges to act uprightly and fairly, think three times before you become judges yourselves... I have been the only one, who has survived this Golgotha, nevertheless, in the past, I have already judged the father-in-law of the President of the United States, I have judged the most sensitive political issues, all the politicians appeared before me, but I do not remember such a cruel, brutal campaign as the one that accompanied this trial.
It was clearly already set, already in the first trial, that Novič must be convicted in order to avoid certain investigation at the Institute of Chemistry. I do not want to speculate who is behind all this, however, these decisions converge with the peaks of the judiciary, with the leadership of the state prosecutor's office, the Judicial Council, and the Supreme Court of Slovenia. Who stands for what Miha Kunič does, even I do not know, but Jamnik’s widow it is certainly not. Therefore, I find that the background of this trial has been fully tuned (adjusted).
A certain judge was visiting me for several months, and she is always in contact with a Specialised State Prosecutor’s Office. Every week she hints at me, not to acquit Novič, not to acquit Novič. (…) In the previous criminal proceedings, (…) Milko Novič had no fair trial. None of the four judges was afterwards put under criminal, or disciplinary proceedings. The Prosecutor’s Office was (...) that the trial was unfair. They did not put anyone under the criminal procedure, they put me ... The prosecutor says, the starting point of the measurement is unknown. She stood at the starting point (...) The trial is (...) being disabled. Nobody reports a word about it. It tells a lot about the monitoring of this trial (...)
It is necessary to file a charge, and only then they can suspend me. Does this mean that the prosecution will immediately file it and I shall be suspended immediately, so that I could not even write a judgment? Now about the act itself. Before the Court takes the evidence, it must make a substantive test of the charge ...«
Listen to the recorded and subtitled speech of the judge Radonjić HERE.
Explanation of the editorial board of the website of the magazine Democracy:
A few minutes after the audio clip and the stenosis of the speech of the judge Zvjezdan Radonjić in the case of Milko Novič was published, we received a call from the Ljubljana District Court. They said the judge Zvjezdan Radonjić had requested the withdrawal of the video because it was a fake counterfeit and that he did not allow the recording. The editorial board of Democracy notes:
1. The audio clip received by the editorial board came from a reliable source. Therefore, there is no doubt about its authenticity.
2. We have made it clear that when the sound is bad and it cannot be fully understood, we will clearly show it (brackets and dots).
3. After the talks with several journalists who were present at the proclamation of the judgment, the judge requested that only the picture shooting should be stopped.
4. The Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia states that court hearings are public and that judgments are pronounced in public. The Constitution is above any other law.
5. When weighing, whether to publish the audio recording or not, the public interest prevailed. Prior to the explanation of the judgment, the judge provided the information that he was under pressure. He was quite specific about this. Therefore, the public has the right to find out what happened during the trial and what kind of pressure the judge Zvjezdan Radonjić received, in an authentic way (an audio recording and its version in writing).
6. After consultation with the lawyers, we decided not to remove the text and the recording. Namely, the public interest is higher than the interest of eventually affected individualsor the District Court in Ljubljana.
Jože Biščak, editor-in-chief of the magazine Democracy