Prosecutors Condemn Political Pressure from Janša over Protests

By , 06 Jul 2020, 14:57 PM Politics
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STA, 6 July 2020 - The State Prosecutors' Council condemned a letter PM Janez Janša recently addressed to the state prosecutor general, criticising alleged inaction in prosecuting death threats expressed at anti-government protests and attacks on the police taking place as part of them. It labelled the letter an "unacceptable and political pressure".

In the 19 June letter to Drago Šketa, Janša said the prosecution was neglecting its legal role in relation to the anti-government protests for failing to respond to incitement to violence.

Janša also said that Šketa would be responsible if the violence escalated. "You will be directly responsible for any potential victims of the organised threats," Janša wrote, referring to slogans and banners such as Death to Janšism.

The Prosecutorial Council sees the latter as unacceptable and political pressure by the most senior representative of the executive branch of power on the state prosecutor general.

It believes that by referring to Šketa's direct responsibility, the letter expects him to act in contradiction with his legal powers, or the systemic arrangement of the state prosecution in Slovenia, which would result in an unacceptable encroachment on the independence of state prosecutors.

The council stressed that state prosecutors were independent under the law, bound only by the law and the constitution, and that the head of the state prosecution could not force a state prosecutor to take a specific decision in a specific case.

The council moreover referred to the Constitutional Court arguing in one of its rulings that an arrangement enabling unacceptable pressure on a state prosecutor to act in a certain manner would be in contradiction with the Constitution.

A similar response came from Šketa, who said last week that the state prosecution and state prosecutors worked efficiently and in line with the law. Janša's letter was also criticised by part of the opposition, with the Social Democrats (SD) saying they could file an impeachment motion against the prime minister.

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