STA, 8 January 2018 - The Celje Higher Court has upheld a court ruling under which Democrat (SDS) leader Janez Janša has to pay RTV Slovenija journalist Mojca Šetinc Pašek 6,000 euro in damages for an offensive tweet. The damages are now final and he will also have pay the costs of the appeal procedure.
In a civil lawsuit brought against Janša by Šetinc Pašek, the Velenje Local Court ordered Janša in November 2016 to pay her the 6,000 euro, setting a 15-day deadline.
In March of the same year, Janša posted a tweet labelling editor Šetinc Pašek and journalist Eugenija Carl "washed up prostitutes" who offered their "cheap services" to the public broadcaster.
Na neki FB strani javne hiše ponujajo poceni usluge odsluženih prostitutk Evgenije C im Mojce PŠ. Eno za 30€, drugo za 35€. #ZvodnikMilan.— Janez Janša (@JJansaSDS) March 21, 2016
This was after Carl run a report on the SDS, which Janša found "containing a bunch of despicable lies about SDS members".
The latest ruling comes after a tug-of-war in which Janša had claimed he had missed the deadline to respond to the lawsuit because it was not handed to him in the standard procedure.
He had also disagreed with the sum he should pay, arguing the tweet could not have caused such anguish to Šetinc Pašek to warrant such high damages.
The Higher Court has now upheld the original ruling and also established that the lawsuit had been handed to Janša in the right manner.
It also agreed the tweet was offensive and going considerably beyond the freedom of speech, with its only intent being "insulting the claimant in the general public".
A similar lawsuit had been brought against Janša by Carl, but in her case, the Celje Higher Court sided with Janša's appeal, ordering a retrial last November.
Both journalists had also filed criminal lawsuits against Janša over the tweet.
In November, the Celje District Court sentenced Janša to a three-month suspended prison sentence on one-year probation for defamation and ordered him to pay for the costs of the trial. Janša's lawyer Franci Matoz announced an appeal.
All our stories about Janez Janša are here