By: Vida Kocjan
The police, specifically the Ljubljana Police Directorate, has issued an invitation to Metod Berlec, the editor-in-chief of the Demokracija weekly, summoning him for questioning at the end of the month as a suspect. A similar invitation was also received by Marko Puš, the editor-in-chief of the Nova24TV portal.
From the invitations, it is not clear what exactly the individuals are suspected of. However, the reasons for suspicion of committing the criminal offense of Violation of the Secrecy of Data under Article 287/II of the Criminal Code (KZ-1) are stated. The request for gathering information was submitted to the police by the District Public Prosecutor’s Office in Ljubljana, based on a criminal complaint filed by the Legal Network for the Protection of Democracy on January 24th, 2023. Editor Metod Berlec noted that, in the case of the Legal Network, it is a so-called paramilitary of the ruling transitional left (NGO), which is being showered with our taxpayer money by the ruling party.
Janez Janša, the president of the Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS), wrote on the X network: “While the police are engaging in intimidation of journalists critical of the regime, crime in Ljubljana and elsewhere is sharply increasing.”
Berlec also recalled Janša’s recent statement: “In the coming weeks and months, we can expect anything but a stable environment for necessary reforms and recovery after the August disaster. In addition, the heavy artillery (repression) of power centres will use tried and tested methods of abusing state institutions and mainstream media to attack the SDS party and the few media outlets (Nova24TV, Demokracija …) that are not under their control. Because the external environment is more unstable than ever since our independence, with a strong trend of deterioration, the times ahead will be dangerous. Slovenia urgently needs strategic stabilisation of internal conditions for this reason as well.”
Who is the self-proclaimed Legal Network?
The Legal Network for the Protection of Democracy does not exist as a legal entity. It also does not have its own transaction account. From their presentation on the website, it is evident that non-governmental organisations operate within this network: the Legal Centre for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment, Amnesty International Slovenia, Today is a New Day, and the Institute for the Culture of Diversity Open. They boast that legal professionals and law firms provide them with professional assistance.
All financial transactions (related to this network or the participating four) go through the non-governmental organisation Today is a New Day (better known as the so-called Dobranić or Muki’s Institute, although there has been a change in leadership recently). We reported in the Demokracija magazine some time ago that the matter was ripe for the Financial Administration of the Republic of Slovenia (Furs). However, it is not known that anything has happened since.
The self-proclaimed Legal Network for the Protection of Democracy, where (mostly) left-wing activists have come together, was established on January 21st, 2021, presumably with the aim of rectifying injustices due to “gross abuse of law” occurring during the pandemic. Members of the self-proclaimed network are also fervent supporters of illegal migrations.
Upon receiving the invitation for questioning, neither Berlec nor Puš know what they are accused of. Based on the mentioned article KZ-1 and considering the known activities of the self-proclaimed legal network, the editors and the editorial staff presume that it could be related to an article in Demokracija, where a citizen tried to protect his 13-year-old sister from illegal migrants.
It is also worth recalling the recent testimonies of Tatjana Bobnar and Boštjan Lindav regarding the demands of Prime Minister Robert Golob for the cleansing of “Janšism” and the numerous attempts by the nomenclature to destroy all media that do not fit into its political spectrum.