Janša Loses Appeal in “Washed-up Prostitute” Defamation Case with Journalist

By , 22 May 2020, 10:19 AM Politics
Janša Loses Appeal in “Washed-up Prostitute” Defamation Case with Journalist Twitter

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STA, 21 May 2020 - After the Supreme Court quashed a guilty ruling in a defamation case brought against PM Janez Janša by a journalist over an insulting tweet, the Celje Higher Court has rejected Janša's appeal in a separate case filed against him by the other journalist mentioned in the controversial tweet.

The Celje Court has rejected Janša's appeal in the defamation case brought against him by RTV Slovenija journalist Evgenija Carl in which he was ordered to pay EUR 6,000 in damages for calling her a "washed-up prostitute" on Twitter.

The court thus upheld a previous ruling by the Velenje Local Court, and ordered Janša to also pay for the legal costs in the amount of EUR 513.

Carl brought the defamation suit over Janša's Twitter post in March 2016 reading "the FB page of the public house is offering cheap services by washed up prostitutes Evgenija C. and Mojca P.Š. One for 30 euros, the other for 35. #PimpMilan".

The Celje Higher Court said that Carl was not a prostitute but a respectable and professional journalist with a long career in journalism. The tweet affected her very much and caused her emotional pain.

It added that Carl was well known for her moral traits and professionalism and therefore a respectable person, which was why the EUR 6,000 in damages was an appropriate financial compensation for her emotional pain.

The other journalist mentioned in the tweet, Mojca Šetinc Pašek, a journalist and editor with TV Slovenija, also sued Janša and both journalists brought criminal charges against him.

But at the beginning of the month, the Supreme Court quashed a ruling that ordered Janša to pay EUR 6,000 to Šetinc Pašek, arguing that like Janša, she was a public figure, for whom "the boundaries of permissible criticism are broader than with private persons".

Šetinc Pašek described the judgement as "outright scandalous", and announced she would take her case to the Constitutional Court.

In the criminal procedure Janša was sentenced to a three-month suspended sentence by the Celje District Court in November 2018, but the Celje Higher Court ordered a retrial last year.

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