STA, 21 December 2021 - The State Attorney's Office has filed a lawsuit to collect the costs the police incurred as a result of policing unregistered anti-government protests from a protest organiser. However, it has not revealed against whom the suit has been filed or how much money is being claimed, according to N1 news portal and Dnevnik newspaper.
The media outlets said on Tuesday that the most likely target was Jaša Jenull, one of the most exposed organisers of Friday's anti-government protests, which have been held since the Janez Janša government assumed office in March 2020.
Jenull told N1 and Dnevnik that he had not yet received any notification about the lawsuit.
However, he opined that the authorities were trying to prevent the protests by using financial threats against individual protesters.
Dnevnik said that from EUR 1,000 to EUR 2,000 could be claimed as part of what is said to be the first of several dozen potential lawsuits.
The police told Dnevnik that the cost of policing these protests between May 2020 and November 2021 amounted to more than EUR 1.2 million.
According to N1, the Interior Ministry is thus claiming almost EUR 200,000 as part of over 30 lawsuits.
Meanwhile, the Legal Network for the Protection of Democracy, an NGO, said that there was no legal basis for such procedures.
They said that the public assembly act contained a very precise definition of who is considered to be an organiser of a rally, and that no person had publicly declared themselves as such in this case.
"The law also explicitly states that costs should only be reimbursed when the police intervene at public events, not at rallies or assemblies," they told the newspaper Večer.