Despite the fact that the extreme leftists began to openly threaten with slogans such as “Death to Janšaism, freedom to the people!” and “Kill Janša!” at the very beginning of the term of Janez Janša’s third Government, the head of District State Prosecutor’s Office in Ljubljana, Katarina Bregant, decided to drop the criminal charges against the inciters of hatred. On the other hand, more and more lawyers and intellectuals are agreeing that the phrase “death to Janšaism” is not a general phrase but is directed against a specific person. Former director of the Slovene Criminal Police and lawyer Dušan Mohorko described the scandalous decision as professionally highly controversial. He believes that the decision should be further checked – professionally, not politically. “Lawyers, in particular, the prosecutors… The matter is too important not to come forward… You are adding fuel to the fire. Are you even aware of this…?”
One of the experts we asked for a comment, is Miha Pogačnik, a lawyer, who, as a legal expert, pointed out that it is actually well-known who the threats are aimed at. “I do not think we can fake ignorance; we know exactly which person these calls are aimed at. This is not a one-off case. This is a series of occurrences we have seen lately. I think that the matter is unambiguous, as far as the legal interpretation is concerned, and that is why, as a lawyer, it surprises me that it is still viewed with ease,” Pogačnik argued.
Law enforcement should take such occurrences more seriously
As Pogačnik pointed out, it is well-known in what context the occurrences happen, it is also known who the person in question is, and what position it holds in this country. According to him, this is not something general; these are statements that can easily be identified as statements directed against a single person and the policies he represents. When we asked Pogačnik about the operating of law enforcement agencies, he replied that the law enforcement agencies are independent. “My personal opinion is that law enforcement should take things more seriously and not give off the impression that this is something normal or something that would remain unsanctioned, regardless of who it relates to. The name is only important in the sense of identifying a specific person. Such blatant statements could be directed against any public person. That, in my opinion, is not good. It should be carefully scrutinised by law enforcement.”
Regarding the phrase “death to Janšaism,” former Minister Žiga Turk pointed out that he understands the phrase as a motto directed against all those who support Janez Janša’s policies. “Similar to how the motto ‘Death to fascism’ was a death threat to all those who supported the policies of fascism.” How many lives of innocent people ended because of this motto after the end of World War II is known to everyone, so this was never just an innocent phrase.
The standards in our country are a little bit different
Lawyer Radovan Cerjak told Nova24TV that, in his opinion, such threats are a reflection of the primitivism of the people who are writing them. “This is also a case of intolerance which was not condemned, in the same way as some other things that were declared to be intolerant, even though they were actually not. A kind of primitivism is present among the left-wing. We can all see it, and it is a reflection of the primitive outbursts of these people.” “If something is directed against a specific person, then we can talk about the criminal act of threatening. Perhaps even about some other criminal acts. It depends on the case. The court, as well as the prosecutor’s office, decide on this on a case-by-case basis. It is difficult to say, unequivocally,” Cerjak pointed out. “Something like this can be defined or hidden, but what the ‘red comrades’ will do is hide behind freedom of speech by claiming that this is not meant as a death threat to the Prime Minister, but to the policies he represents, in general.”
At the same time, Cerjak pointed out that the standards in our country are a little bit different. “We had a certain, different basis anyway, so the standards are also different in the judiciary system.” With this, he recalled a case from many years ago, which was about Mitja Ribičič. “A case was being processed, and one of the folders was titled Major Mitja’s folder. The case was related to some slain wounded men, for whom he ordered they be killed and thrown into a ravine. In that case, the
investigating judge soon took the stance that there was not enough evidence to prove any reasonable suspicion. In this case, then, the same person who writes such things could say in their defence: ‘I am not threatening to kill anyone, I am only opposing the policies which are personified by the Prime Minister.’ In criminal law terms, I find it hard to believe that anything could be achieved.”
Even Virant is critical of such a hostile form of communication
As a left-wing activist, the lawyer Barbara Rajgelj is, of course, unable to admit that this is hostile behaviour. Namely, she insists that Janšaism does not represent a person, but an ideological system, a movement, a method of action, named after its bearer. “Just like, for example, Confucianism, Thatcherism, Titoism, Stalinism.” All in all, of course, none of this is surprising, given that, judging by the posts on social networks, she is in favour of the hostile cycling protests. Unlike her, the former Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia, Gregor Virant, is capable of telling it like it is. As a Doctor of Law, he expressed criticism of the hostile form of communication. “Whatever anyone thinks of the Prime Minister and his political actions, the phrase ‘death to Janšaism’ is a completely unacceptable way of communicating. It contains the name of a person, so it refers to him personally, his family, and his followers. Imagine if your name would have been used in a similar manner! There is no excuse for this!” he believes.