By: Dr Janez Tušek, university professor, director, editor and publicist
During this summer, we were able to read and listen in the media about the verdict of two Slovenian courts because practically all regime media reported on it. In both cases, the SDS party lost the lawsuit.
In the first case, the SDS party sued the academician, professor emeritus, and two-time Doctor of Science Rudi Rizman for a statement he made on public television in the programme Odmevi. He declared, “that a party or its leader comes to the head of the government, which essentially advocates authoritarian ideas, which is of course also financed by a foreign party or a foreign regime, here of course we are referring to the Hungarian one, and of course as such promotes political rhetoric based on exclusionary xenophobia, opposition to the rule of law… this fact is, of course, terrifying. The fact that a party is financed from abroad”.
Is Rizman demented or was he deliberately misleading the public?
The court in Kamnik ruled that the academician, professor emeritus, and two-time Doctor of Science Rudi Rizman had valid arguments for his statement, because it is widely known to the public how the aforementioned political party is financed.
The court therefore ruled that the statement of the academician, professor emeritus, and two-time Doctor of Science Rudi Rizman is admissible criticism of the operation of the political party. Rizman’s statement refers to a political discussion that was in the greatest public interest, the court also noted.
According to the court’s assessment, sociologist, academician, professor emeritus, and two-time Doctor of Science Rudi Rizman had reason to believe that SDS was financed from abroad, so his statement was not offensive. A critical view of the parties’ actions is a fundamental human right, the court noted.
How could a sociologist, politician, academic, emeritus professor, and two-time Doctor of Science believe that the SDS party is financed from abroad, if it is illegal. From this I can only conclude or estimate that Mr. Rizman is demented or that he deliberately misled the public. But if he really did not know how SDS is financed, I can legitimately question how he can hold all the titles listed above. This is certainly the basic behaviour of everyone who gets involved in politics in one way or another. But if he really did not know this, I ask the responsible editors of RTV why they invite such ignorant people to the studio for comments.
Who can be a Doctor of Science?
This can be someone who understands scientific, development, and research work. In addition, each PhD student must conduct a review of the published literature on the topic he/she is dealing with in his/her dissertation. Dr Rizman, and thus the court, refer to the extensive media reports on the funding of the SDS and the media connected to the SDS, as well as to the investigations of the National Bureau of Investigation and the parliamentary commission of the National Assembly. Are these relevant references that the court and the academic can refer to? Has the parliamentary commission or the National Investigation Office ever established that the SDS is financed from abroad? No, not yet. This means that Dr Rizman drew the wrong conclusions from the information he got and made false claims, which the court should find and consider. It is surely the court’s fault for not doing so.
Who can be a professor emeritus?
This can be someone who in the past gave noble and ethical lectures, was an ethical and moral mentor in various seminar, diploma and master’s theses and doctorates. Above all, s/he acted honestly and ethically during the entire teaching period. Did professor emeritus Rizman act honestly and ethically in his statement, which was made in an assertive form? In my opinion, no.
Who can be an academic?
It applies similarly to the scientific and pedagogical title mentioned above. In the scientific and pedagogical field, s/he must have relevant references that deviate upwards from the average. S/he must publish his scientific achievements in various forms and in various media. Above all, s/he must act honestly, morally, and ethically.
Was the academic acting morally by making an untrue statement in the show Odmevi in an assertive form? In my opinion, no. Should the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts react here? In my opinion, yes.
With such a decision of the court, one actually wonders if every ordinary citizen, when he hears pub debates or untrue statements of some other people or politicians or even MPs, can declare everything possible, even if he offends someone in doing so. If an academic, professor emeritus, two-time doctor relies on the general debate among people, then the ordinary citizen can rely even more.
For example. In the inn, I heard from an unknown man that Dr Rizman, after defending his scientific doctorate, shook hands with each of his former classmates at the first anniversary of his high school graduation and introduced himself as Dr Rizman. That is what I heard, but if it is the truth, I do not know.
The court rejected the appeal of Janez Janša
In another case, the higher court in Celje rejected SDS president Janez Janša’s appeal against the ruling, according to which Janša must apologise to the SD party for claims about the “stolen villa” and pay it 10,000 euros.
As the media reports, the higher court also concluded that Janša knew the false content of his statements, but nevertheless published them maliciously.
In this case, the court also found that political parties must show a greater degree of tolerance for criticism, but that Janša crossed the line of respecting the rights of others, as he knowingly and intentionally wrote untrue offensive statements. According to the court, the tweets in question are offensive in themselves, regardless of who wrote them, for what purpose, and to whom they refer. As can be seen from the first-instance judgment, the court found that Janša published the disputed claims while being aware that their content was not true and that the published information would receive a large response from the public.
The communists confiscated Moskovič’s villa
This second lawsuit concerns Moskovič’s villa on Levstikova Street in Ljubljana. This building in Ljubljana’s Vrtača was bought in 1931 by Feliks and Klara Moskovič. The Moskovič family were successful entrepreneurs from Ljubljana before the war. During the war during the Italian occupation, Feliks Moskovič and his daughter Vera and son Julij were arrested in the spring of 1943.
In 1944, the German occupiers took the Moskovič family to the Auschwitz extermination camp, where Feliks and daughter Vera died in 1944, and son Julij fell as an Italian partisan. Klara Moskovič was the last to die in the camp at the beginning of 1945.
Jewish capital in Slovenia was already subject to confiscation under the German and Italian occupation, and even the post-war Yugoslav communist authorities did nothing differently. Therefore, it is not surprising that many Jews were declared a person of German nationality or even a member of the Kulturbund and expropriated them on the basis of the decree of the Avnoy Presidency of November 21st, 1944, on the transfer of enemy property into state property. The property of the Jews was confiscated by the Nazis in 1941, and by the communists after the end of the war: the Nazis because of anti-Jewish legislation, and the communists because some Slovenian Jews were supposedly Germans.
In November 1946, the District Court in Ljubljana pronounced the confiscation of the entire property of the Moskovič family on the basis of Article 2 of the Act on the Transfer of Enemy Property into State Property and on the Sequestration of the Property of Absent Persons (Official Gazette of the FLRJ No. 63/46) and ordered the initiation of confiscation proceedings in the land register.
At the estate hearing in February 1947, the court awarded the estate of Feliks and Klara Moskovič to the latter’s brother and sole heir, Ignjat Lajtner, who was also entered in the land register as the owner. Ignjat Lajtner sold the property to Dana Kos immediately after the inheritance discussion. In 1953, the authorities re-nationalised it and, following Dana Kos’ complaint, in 1954 it was denationalised. In 1961, Dana Kos sold the villa to the state and this villa became state or social property.
In short, the left-wing media concluded at that time: “Levstikova 15 in Ljubljana, where the headquarters of the Social Democrats are today, was legally and indisputably acquired by the party. The ‘stolen Jewish villa’ was not stolen from anyone, but was indisputably sold to the state, and then it was the subject of an exchange contract, with which the SD legally became the owner of the building.”
Is this a legal way for SD to acquire social or state property?
Was it not already decided in 1992 in the parliament that all real estate owned by political organisations such as the Socialist Union of Working People, the Communist Union, and trade unions in the previous system should be distributed among the newly formed political parties?
Was it not years ago that the court in Nova Gorica took away the property from the Social Democrats in Nova Gorica, which they owned under the previous system, on the basis of this decision?
And what can I write about our courts from the above? A simple person with no legal education can find out that our courts are extremely unprofessional and that they make discriminatory decisions.
Obviously, our courts decide as they did in the previous system. How can a judge record what someone thought, reasonably or knowingly believed, or even knowingly lied about?