STA, 7 May 2021 - The weekly Mladina has been asked by police to provide information on how it got hold of classified documents revealing the content of the draft National Recovery and Resilience Plan which the magazine published in February in what Mladina sees as an act of intimidation.
According to Mladina, the Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy has assessed that the magazine divulged classified information.
When Mladina published the draft plan on its website in February, the document had still been labelled internal.
An official letter from the Ljubljana Bežigrad police station published by Mladina shows the query for the magazine to provide information about the author of the article, the editor-in-chief and when, how and from whom they obtained documents labelled as internal was made at the request of the Ljubljana District State Prosecution.
Mladina says the article in which the documents were published was signed by the author with a name and surname and the information on who is the editor-in-chief is publicly available, which is why they see police questions as an attempt to intimidate them more than inquiring about relevant facts in trying to prove criminal offences.
The government decided to declassify the document soon after Mladina published the draft, although the opposition had been demanding before that it should be subject to a broad public debate.
Minister for Development, Strategic Projects and Cohesion Zvonko Černač said at the time he had declassified it after its contents had been leaked to a weekly. "The harm has been done and it cannot be repaired," he said in parliament at the end of February.
The Association of Slovenian Journalists (DNS) responded to today's news by saying it was worried about the investigation, especially since the draft document was declassified two weeks after being published, which it said "proved the public was fully entitled to get insight into it".
It pointed to the changes to the penal code adopted on its initiative in 2015 which decriminalised obtaining and publishing confidential data to reveal them to the public if the release is in public interest and if it does not pose a risk to life.
The association thus expects the prosecution of Mladina to immediately stop.
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