Corporate news 7.5.2021 17:16

STA director announces legal action against prime minister

Ljubljana, 7 May - Bojan Veselinovič, the director of the Slovenian Press Agency (STA), has announced legal action against Prime Minister Janez Janša after he implied on Twitter that Veselinovič had been involved in the "murder" of former STA editor-in-chief Borut Meško more than a decade ago.

Brdo pri Kranju
PM Janez Janša.
Photo: Tamino Petelinšek/STA
File photo

What Janša wrote exceeds all boundaries, Veselinovič told the current affairs show Tarča on public broadcaster TV Slovenija on Thursday evening.

The decision comes after Janša wrote on Twitter on Thursday: "Incredible for 21st century EU that an accomplice in the murder of a journalist still leads the STA and gets EUR 8,500 per month. More than the president of the republic."

Veselinovič said that he would press criminal charges as a private plaintiff and a civil defamation suit.

Responding to Veselinovič's announcement, Janša tweeted today: "Finally. Bullying a journalist who then died must get a closure in court."

Janša added a link to excerpts from a 2009 news conference at which Meško, at the time still STA editor-in-chief, said Veselinovič resorted to all forms of bullying.

Veselinovič meanwhile also sent a cease and desist letter to Uroš Urbanija, Government Communication Office (UKOM) director, who has alleged in several tweets that Veselinovič had taken it out on Meško.

Yesterday, Urbanija tweeted that Veselinovič had sent Meško a termination letter "while he was on his death bed" after "a brutal settling of scores and long-time bullying".

Meško was the editor-in-chief in 2007-2009 and was handed a termination notice on 3 November 2009 due to his failure to draw up strategic plans despite a prior warning. He died in May 2010.

Veselinovič has often come under fire from conservative journalists for firing Meško just before his death, a financial settlement with Meško's family having been used as proof of wrongful termination.

But Veselinovič has insisted he had not known about Meško's illness, a point raised in the cease and desist letter sent to Urbanija yesterday.

The law firm representing Veselinovič said he had not been informed about the illness until May 2010, when he received a letter from Meško's legal representative.

And this letter came with medical documentation that Meško's terminal illness had not been diagnosed until December 2009, a month after he was fired.

This means "it would have been impossible for our client to carry out any of the acts that you allege," said the law firm, which also dismissed all allegations about bullying.