By: Dimitrij Rupel
The Yugo-Slovenian secret political police were called Udba. The name corresponds to the Serbo-Croatian initials of the title of the former department of the Belgrade Interior Ministry: State Security Directorate. Udba was responsible for similar operations in Slovenia as the NKVD or KGB in the Soviet Union, STASI in the German Democratic Republic, SECURITATE in Romania… Igor Omerza, who has written several books on Udba, explains as follows:
Its primary task was not to fight against foreign intelligence services, but mainly against domestic church structures…, internal opposition (real or potential or imaginary), political emigration… and against information bureaucrats.
Udba was formed in 1946, when Ozna (Department for the Protection of the Nation) was divided into a civilian (udba) and a military unit called KOS (Counterintelligence Service). Yugoslav law gave Udba unlimited powers. Udba carried out a series of underground actions, murders, extortions and kidnappings. Among other things, it accumulated large sums of convertible money abroad, which witnesses later described as the “Udba economy”. In 2003, Dušan Lajovic published on the Internet and in a book Between Freedom and the Red Star material with information about people who cooperated with the secret police. Many others write about Udba: Ljubo Sirc, Peter Starič, Rosvita Pesek; furthermore, an interesting documentation was published by Nova obzorja in 2010 – on the occasion of Türk’s decoration of Udba chief Tomaž Ertl.
As can be seen from documents in the Archives of Slovenia, the Yugo-Slovenian political police (Udba) accompanied me (read my letters, listened to my phone, followed me on my travels at home and abroad) from 1974 to 1990. As Minister in Slovenian governments I have had quite a few meetings with repressive authorities. Due to the initiative to establish a diplomatic academy in Slovenia, which could not be established due to pressure from interested groups and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not spend a single tolar or euro on it, I was sued and brought to court in 2003, accompanied by loud Delo journalists. I was lucky then: the judge recognised the absurdity of the accusations. However, in 2008 I had to pay a fine of 1,660 euros to the Information Commissioner Pirc Musar, because I ordered my colleagues at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to investigate in what way, thanks to whom, the so-called Washington Dispatch was stolen from our archives. In addition, at the end of 2008, after the end of my ministerial term and as the already appointed and accepted by the Republic of Austria Ambassador to Vienna (I had a so-called agreman), I was simply “cancelled” by the President of the Republic Türk. Then I was befallen by political cop Sandi Sheikha.
Five years ago, on October 28th, 2016, Sheikha, for reasons I did not understand, stopped my vehicle returning from the cemetery, in which my sick wife and her caregiver were driving alongside me. Despite my objections – that my wife has to get home as soon as possible – the police officer upgraded his police intervention by lengthy copying of my documents and even by (albeit unsuccessful) verification of my alleged alcoholism. In one word: he created a conflict situation that lasted for about half an hour while my wife suffered unbearable pain. I later found out and understood that he was a police officer who enjoyed comprehensive political immunity during Cerar’s and later Šarec’s government. (Sandi Sheikha ran for MP on Marjan Šarec’s list, took part in anti-vaccination and protests against the current Janša government.) It was – simply put – an intervention by a member of the political police, which is increasingly aggressive in Slovenia and is otherwise asserting itself by opposing the army, Western allies and NATO membership.
After recovering an outrageous and unjustified fine, Sheikha began further prosecution. He demanded 2,500 euros from me as compensation for his mental pain, which I allegedly caused him at the time of the arrest with polemical, and according to him, insulting statements. The court upheld the plaintiff in a process that dragged on for five years (due to the court’s employment and the epidemic), and in the end, on May 13th, 2021, I paid Sheikha’s lawyer 3,277 euros. A few days ago, I received a decision from the court that I still have to pay the litigation costs incurred by the plaintiff. My lawyer told me:
I inform you that in your litigation we, the plaintiff Sandi Sheikha, ref. no. II P 1374/2017, received a decision of the District Court in Ljubljana. The court ruled that you are obliged to reimburse the plaintiff for litigation costs in the amount of 3,602.12 euros within 15 days.
If I add to these figures the costs I had with my lawyer, the attack of the political police on my person, which was constantly supported by the Ljubljana court, cost me around 10,000 euros. By the way (and explained in the appendix): the court did not take into account either the medical certificate written by my wife’s doctor or the testimony of the nurse; rather, it took into account the opinion of a psychologist provided by Sheikha to explain his mental pain.
From this follow the teachings for the victims of the political police (if they are not by chance the leaders of football associations, the presidents of the Court of Audit or electricity traders, i.e., very wealthy people):
- the political police are becoming stronger and more aggressive;
- one is not allowed or cannot object to the political police;
- litigation with the political police must be avoided by all means, as they automatically benefit the political police and harm their victims;
- any claim by the political police for compensation should be seen as unavoidable and is best paid immediately, as delay only increases costs.
I am sending this polite letter to the Ombudsman. In case he may be dealing with the problem of the political police, I am attaching a longer explanation and chronology to this writing.
Police officer Sandi Sheikha and judge/councillor Lilijana Podlesnik go hand in hand against Dimitrij Rupel.
November 3rd, 2020
A few days ago, on October 29th, 2020, I, the undersigned, received a lengthy, 29-page paper (Judgment on behalf of the people IIP1374 / 2017) by Lilijana Podlesnik, Judge/Councillor of the Ljubljana District Court, stating that I (defendant) must pay, in addition to the fine for the offense I allegedly committed four years ago (October 26th, 2016), another 2,500 euros in damages (with interest) due to the plaintiff’s offence or disturbed mental balance, affected self-esteem, feelings of inferiority, insomnia, decreased libido, etc., to police officer Sandi Sheikha (plaintiff).
The question arises as to how the police officer Sheikha and Judge Podlesnik substantiate their request or decision? Officer Sheikha or Judge Podlesnik cite two phenomena of disability. The police officer allegedly felt hurt twice:
- during the procedure after stopping my vehicle on October 26th, 2016, due to my objections and concerned comments (for reasons that are essential to understanding the whole matter and will be explained below); and
- when he found out about my letter to the Minister of the Interior, Györkös Žnidar, which I wrote after the event, in which I complained about the police officer’s inhuman treatment.
Police officer Sheikha sanctioned his “first” injury on the spot, as he issued me a payment order for “indecent behaviour” or violations of Art. ZJRM-1, after which he ordered an alcohol test. After that, the police officer and the judge were left with only “other” damage due to my complaint against the police officer’s conduct to the Ministry of the Interior.
Here, things get a bit complicated, as a citizen of the Republic of Slovenia should not be punished if, in his opinion, he informs his superior about the controversial conduct of a civil servant or employer. I must say that I did not expect any action from this superior body (Minister of the Interior Györkös Žnidar), given my status as a pensioner and her party affiliation (SMC). I also did not receive any answer from the Minister – in accordance with the customs of that government. I did not have any expectations regarding the message to the Minister and also regarding the copies that I sent “for information” to some addresses. In fact, nothing happened after them, but I assume that in addition to mine, they also exist in some archives as an illustration of the reckless conduct of Officer Sheikha.
The judge and her police officer, with the help of a psychological expert Derganc, constructed a dramatic event about which I have no idea and for which I can in no way be held responsible. Officer Sheikha is said to have lived in fear of something happening to him because of my messages, that he would lose his salary or job, he had to buy sedatives (which can be obtained without a prescription), he worried and suffered from the comments of co-workers; he felt uncomfortable when he saw my picture, “he did not take part in the household and family activities, because he was so burdened with the event and the events after it.” In fact, the police officer did not have any consequences due to the events – for which I cannot be responsible – but he continued his political career, which will be discussed in the end.
If we ignore for a moment the interest of policeman Sheikha and his associates in political provocation, after all in the political showdown with Dimitrij Rupel, Slovenian statehood, liberal-democratic order and independence… the main problem is humanity and especially the treatment of sick people. On October 28th, 2016, police officer Sheikha stopped my vehicle on an order or for fun, in which my – extremely seriously ill – wife was also driving. My request to take into account special medical circumstances and to expedite the procedure, if necessary, was rudely rejected by the police officer, and this refusal was found in the judgment in the following wording:
The court finds that the defendant himself, although he knew that his wife was seriously ill and had difficulty with driving, nevertheless took her to the cemetery. Given that she paid a visit to the grave, it is clear that her condition was not critical to the need for urgent medical assistance, which the defendant did not claim. The defendant’s wife, although ill, was a passenger in the vehicle and therefore a participant in traffic and was also subject to traffic rules. Plaintiff could not know the defendant’s wife’s condition until the vehicle was stopped and the defendant gave an explanation. The police officers did not indisputably punish the defendant’s wife for not wearing a seat belt and they took into account the defendant’s explanation that the wife was ill, although in accordance with the provision of paragraph 3 Article 33 of the ZPolP may also require a valid medical certificate. The defendant’s reference to his wife’s illness did not constitute a valid reason for terminating the misdemeanour proceedings against the defendant…
I was upset and worried due to the unsuccessful persuasion of the police officer that it was necessary to transport a sick person from the Žale cemetery to home. The policeman even allowed himself to assess that there was nothing wrong with the health of my wife Marjetica A. Rudolf-Rupel, but the verdict described her situation in contradiction: on the one hand she was shrunken and motionless, and by the way she got out of the car and “she told police officer Kosič that he should be ashamed and that his children should be ashamed.” The story of my wife getting out of the vehicle is fictional and untrue.
The author of these lines has no experience with “judgments in the name of the people” and I cannot know whether a concrete judgment is ordinary or perhaps exceptional. This will have to be judged by someone else. In any case, I must point out some of its characteristics, which are extremely unusual and unacceptable by democratic standards. First and foremost, it is a matter of extreme opacity and verbosity (29 pages of hundreds of times repeated allegations and quotes from the lawsuit of police officer Sheikha), which are supposed to create the impression that it is a longer dramatic event. Then there are unfounded conclusions, factual errors and, above all, extreme bias. The judge accepted as credible the statements of the plaintiff and his police colleague (who was mostly not present at the events but was sitting in the car in the meantime); as unreliable, she rejected the statements of the defendant and his witness Tatjana Kopušar; while the testimony of expert prof. Zvezdana Pirtoška – which is essential for understanding the whole story – was assessed as unnecessary.
From the text of the judgment, a naïve reader might conclude that the defendant did nothing but insult the plaintiff for half an hour (or twenty minutes after the plaintiff’s assessment). On each page of her writing, the judge cites and repeats insults and labels such as “idiot”, “jerk”, “stupid”, “incompetent” … but these are labels and insults mentioned by the plaintiff in the lawsuit and are not proven. The judge tries to achieve an effect in favour of the plaintiff by accumulating and repeating them. At the same time, she forgot that – regardless of whether they were actually said – I had already been punished for these marks/“insults” with a police officer’s payment order for violating the ZJRM. Apparently, the judge wanted to judge the same case for the second time, i.e., twice (ne bis in idem).
From the event for which I earned the conviction of Judge Lilijana Podlesnik or the District Court in Ljubljana, which is ordering me to pay 2,500 euros in damages to police Sheikha, four years have passed, which, among other things, testifies to the (inadmissible?) length of court proceedings in our country. After four years, of course, the circumstances that led to the event faded (October 28th, 2016), which made the verdict, which is particularly unserious and unjust, all the more absurd and incomprehensible.
The reasoning of the verdict, for example, states that “the defendant even accused the plaintiff of being a disgrace to our country and threatened him that I would try to get lower salaries for police officers.” Regardless of the fact that I have never made such threats and given that I have never in my life tried to make anyone have a lower salary, it is of course absurd and naïve to attribute to me that such threats could succeed in government, with which I had no contact with and which – due to political differences – would not even consider me in my dreams.
In October 2016, the Republic of Slovenia was ruled by the 12th government, which was taken over by Miro Cerar two years before and left two years later. This government was – given its capabilities – overburdened with so-called refugee or migrant crisis. As is well known, the year before, huge crowds of emigrants from North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia had moved across Slovenian territory towards Germany; Cerar’s government, however, began setting barriers after failing to control illegal crossings. There were various complications and misunderstandings between the government and various non-governmental organisations, which took Angela Merkel’s hospitality as an example. The main problem was the police, which went on strike at the end of 2015 due to overcrowding and all sorts of complications. At the time, I made a public comment (which I even reprinted in the book): “Any smart government would be extremely considerate and cautious if 2,000 or 3,000 uniformed police officers protest in front of its headquarters. Without the police, the army, the fire brigade and diplomacy – which has disappeared in these times – there is no country!” In February 2016, I added the following comment: “NATO reports on Slovenia’s lack of military readiness show that many things are very wrong, and there are problems with the small, poorly equipped and poorly paid police that guards the border and faces migration in the midst of controversy, protests, and the wandering of a growing number of immigrants in European cities…” What I think of the police, Mr Sheihka could read in black and white. Of course, at the hearing, I have already rejected this – which is now being repeated on 29 densely typed pages.
One of the highlights of this explanation is hidden in the following sentence: “It is also inadmissible that the defendant filed a complaint against the work of the plaintiff, even though he performed the duties of the Police in accordance with instructions and law…” According to the explanation, an appeal against a police officer is not admissible. I did write a letter to Interior Minister Györkös Žnidar after the event. In it, I wrote that I experienced Sheikha’s conduct as harassing and assumed it was an order.
From this desperate complaint of mine – perhaps not as his own idea – the plaintiff has created a kind of drama in which a humble, innocent and well-meaning police officer confronts someone who is exploiting “his great political power”. A retired diplomat and professor – of a despised and limited Nova univerza, according to the left coalition – retired by the left-wing coalition (Bratušek, Erjavec) in 2013 is supposed to have great political power?
If we recall Sheikha’s statement that the police process lasted only 20 minutes, we have to wonder how so much could have happened in such a short time that it took 29 densely typed pages of Judgment on behalf of the people to report them. The judgment addresses issues of the eligibility of the transport of sick persons in civilian family vehicles; on the merits of proposals for the police to assist and facilitate such emergency transport; on speeding up and delaying police procedures; on the identity of police officers and retired officials of the Slovenian state; on the clairvoyance of police officers – who are supposed to be able to assess from behind and from a distance whether the driver of the vehicle in front is fastened with a seat belt; on the technology of alcohol tests; on the dignity of surnames and first names; on the lack of a police presence where it would be desirable… Above all, the judgment deals at length with the consequences of the defendant’s correspondence, which has supposedly put the plaintiff in a mental crisis, insomnia, lack of family functioning, fear of the photos of Dimitrij Rupel, who is said to have great political power…
From the scale of these dialogues, it could be inferred that they lasted more than twenty minutes, raising the question of how much time was spent on the breathalyser and various administrative tasks, such as filling in the forms. In a word, there is no doubt that it was a procrastination and a relatively lengthy process that began from a considerable distance between the police vehicle and the D.R. vehicle, with a free-eyed police officer’s assessment of not wearing a seat belt; and lingered over the ruthlessness of Officer Sheikha regarding a sick passenger in a civilian car.
An interesting summary is the statement of the witness Tatjana Kopušar, whose credibility the judge did not acknowledge:
… (Tatjana Kopušar) thinks that she signed some papers, but she does not remember exactly, because the excitement started at that time, the lady was very upset, everyone was nervous, such a young policeman obviously did not understand the problem or whether the diaper would be withstood or not, the atmosphere was very electrified. Defendant then said that it is enough, that they should go home, and that he will report at the police station the next working day, he asked for the last name and first name of the police officer to know who was on patrol or who to turn to. The policeman had his last name and first name on his jacket, and then she noticed that he had a gun behind his belt. She knows that the police officer’s last name was unusual, that they tried to read it, the defendant then said that he would not be able to remember the police officer’s last name. The policeman then began to ask if they were bothered by his last name, Dr Rupel told him that the surname did not bother him, but that he was disturbed by the process. Then arguing began if the last name is disturbing, the defendant told the plaintiff that he wanted to know who the police officer who dealt with him was, then the police officer said the last name and first name, then everything was like in a movie. The proceedings were then concluded. A police officer intervened, although no one was threatened. When the intervention was over, however, there was actually a threat as the lady lost her nerves, so she does not even know how they got home. Asked if Mr. Rupel was upset, she said that he was a little upset, she would be too, especially if someone gives you an alcohol test at 10 o’clock in the morning. Asked if the defendant had used any insults to the plaintiff, she admitted no, he was just upset. The witness did not detect that the defendant would tell the plaintiff that he was stupid, incompetent, idiotic, that he should be ashamed, but he did say that if he sees a patient in a car and that if the car has a license plate of the defendant that he can make a statement then at the police …
Apparently, the judge did not think that the letter that Dimitrij Rupel wrote to the Minister of the Interior on October 28th, 2016, was not an order or a text for public discussion. It was a message to the Minister, to which the Minister did not even respond. By its nature, the letter was personal and was not intended for public or judicial hearing. The judge interfered with the secrecy of the letter and the right of the citizen to communicate critical opinions to any state representative. In doing so, she encroached on first-class civil liberties protected by the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia.
Of course, the anomalies and ruthlessness, as police officer Sheikha and his judge/councillor Podlesnik indulged in the age of whistle-blowers and the general erosion of civic dignity and trust, are, so to speak, a daily occurrence. Regardless, the Sheikha case should not have access to a court of law or rule of law.
The judge was not lucky enough to determine exactly or describe the defendant’s complaints on October 28th, 2016. On the one hand, she notes that the defendant wrote a letter to the Minister of the Interior and then states: “Statements containing an unfounded allegation of illegal or immoral conduct are offensive. The court finds no valid reason for the defendant to send the disputed letter to the SDS Prime Minister, the VSO President, the President, the Chairman of the Assembly or the Republic Committee… The defendant sent the complaint to the Minister of the Interior, SDS Prime Minister, VSO President, Assembly or Committee for the Republic…”
It was noted to the judge that the plaintiff and the defendant belong to different political options, thus in a way equating the statements of the parties to the proceedings. The judge – as can be seen from her confusion in titles of various state institutions and organisations (there was no SDS Prime Minister in 2016!) – does not take into account the fateful and deliberate direction of Sheikha’s lawsuit against prof. Dimitrij Rupel. Prof Rupel does not have much political power, but he is a recognisable personality of Slovenian independence and a person who – like all good and honest people – takes exemplary care of his family. His critical views on street fights and riots, which are being prepared (on Fridays) by the current opposition against the “Prime Minister of the SDS”, are well known. The judge deliberately omitted from her laudatory and saintly portrait of Officer Sheikha the only plausible and credible explanation of his conduct in relation to Professor Dimitrij Rupel. In the 2018 elections, Sandi Sheikha was a candidate for an MP of Marjan Šarec’s LMŠ party; otherwise, he is known for joining cyclists on Friday’s demonstrations on his official motorcycle and taking “selfies” with them. Not so long ago, former president Milan Kučan recommended that the Slovenian police take a stand against the state and the people.
 Igor Omerza, “Udba”, Osamosvojitev, prispevki za enciklopedijo slovenske osamosvojitve, državnosti in ustavnosti, p. 321. Omerza wrote about Udba in several books: Edvard Kocbek – osebni dosje no. 584 (2010), Veliki in dolgi pohod Nove revije (2015), Temna stran Dela: osupljiva anatomija režimsko-udbovskih labirintov (2019), Udba in akcija Sever (2020), Velikani slovenske osamosvojitve in Udba (2021).
 By the way: in Slovenia, Ozno was translated as “Organisation for the Protection of the Nation”, which was a deliberate mistake: Serbo-Croatian nation means people in Slovene.
 Ljubo Sirc, Dolgo življenje po smrtni obsodbi, Ljubljana 2010.
 Peter Starič, Moje življenje v totalitarizmu 1941-1991, Ljubljana 2013.
 Rosvita Pesek, Pučnik, Celovec 2013.
 President’s symbolic decoration of crimes, constitutional accusation against Danilo Türk, Ljubljana
Dr Dimitrij Rupel is a sociologist, politician, diplomat, writer, playwright, editor, publicist and former foreign minister.
Displaying the opposite facts:
On January 9th, 2022, an article entitled “Political Police and Political Court” was published in your online media www.demokracija.si, authored by Mr. Dr Dimitrij Rupel.
In the article itself (https://demokracija.si/komentar/politicna-policija-in-politicno-sodisce/?fbclid=IwAR0H0hEAurIVtUQ8V1mCPe-ngnpeILNkwptRF8vB8yI4I1GPFeOl7LA1lE4), the author wrote several times, quoting, “Sandi Sheikha was a candidate for MP of Marjan Šarec’s LMŠ party in the 2018 elections”, “(Sandi Sheikha was a candidate for MP on the list of Marjan Šarc)”.
These statements are not true at all, because as police officers, according to the law, we must not be a member of a political party during our employment.
As a police officer, I have never and will never be a member of any political party, nor have I ever run for office on any political party list.
Please check the statements of Mr. Dimitrij Rupel on the list of candidates of the LMŠ party, as well as in other reliable official sources, where the lists of candidates for MPs of the LMŠ group are recorded.
The above-mentioned statements affected me, and the author also deliberately misleads readers, so according to the legal provisions of the Media Act, I demand an apology and a correction of the article.
Kamnik, January 10th, 2022