By: Sara Bertoncelj /Nova24tv
MEP Romana Tomc warned the LIBE Group for Monitoring Democracy, the Rule of Law, and Fundamental Rights – an eight-member delegation led by Sophie in ‘t Veld that was in Slovenia last year – of an inadmissible attempt to silence journalist Bojan Požar. In the letter, Tomc called on the DRFMG to protect the investigative journalist from political persecution and condemn the Court’s actions. The group should also strongly condemn threats to independent journalists employed by public service broadcasters. “No response. Silence, as with Branko Masleša, Drago Šketa, and Zvjezdan Radonjić. They are no longer worried about media freedom and the rule of law in Slovenia. The attack on the government, which was carried out together with proof-readers, is finally falling apart,” the MEP said.
MEP Romana Tomc sent a letter to members of the LIBE Group for Monitoring Democracy, the Rule of Law, and Fundamental Rights (DRFMG), which last year assessed the state of the rule of law and the media in Slovenia, in which she drew attention to the owner of the web portal Požareport, Bojan Požar. Last Friday, the journalist received a decision on detention ordered by the Ljubljana High Court – because he did not attend the hearing before the High Court, which was not mandatory at all. It was a procedure in which he was acquitted at first instance.
Tomc pointed out that Požar is one of the most widely read and at the same time one of the most frequently sued journalists in Slovenia. In addition to some extremely burdensome articles on the Slovenian judiciary, he published some verified information that places a heavy burden on the president of one of the political parties. “Požar has repeatedly written critically about dishonest judges and courts, including a judge of the senate of the higher court who ordered detention. Therefore, it is impossible to rule out the possibility that this measure is revenge against a journalist,” Tomc emphasised, thus aiming at the Supreme Court Judge Branko Masleša, about whom our media also wrote a lot – it is still unclear whether he is working with an invalid bar exam.
“I informed Sophie in ‘t Veld about the attempt to silence Bojan Požar. No response. Silence, as with Branko Masleša, Drago Šketa, and Zvjezdan Radonjić. They are no longer worried about media freedom and the rule of law in Slovenia. The attack on the government, which was carried out together with the proof-readers, is finally falling apart,” the MEP wrote on Twitter, recalling former judge Radonjić, who was expelled from the system by the judiciary with the help of Marjan Pogačnik because he was too distracting with his warning of irregularities. Recently, for similar reasons, they also started picking on the Supreme Court Judge Jan Zobec; the Vice President of the Supreme Court Miodrag Đorđević and the President of the Supreme Court Damijan Florjančič submitted an initiative to the Commission for Ethics and Integrity at the Judicial Council to adopt a principled opinion on Zobec’s conduct due to an interview with Siol.net. Regarding the diploma of the Supreme Judge Masleša, many things are still unclear, but the majority media have never been interested in this topic – just as they are not overly interested in Požar, even though he is a journalist colleague. As in the Slovenian judiciary, the media is also staffed, which in too many cases is not only ineffective, but also biased. In the case of Požar, even the Slovenian Journalists’ Association, which is supposed to stand up for journalists – but more than obviously only for its own – is silent. Therefore, we cannot claim that in Slovenia there are the same “waffles” for everyone, as the vice-president of the SD party Andreja Katič would say.