June 18, 2024

“We are not afraid of you. We will continue our work,” director of Nova24TV Boris Tomašič said.

In the most blatant example to date of the leftist Slovenian government’s media purge, authorities raided the offices of conservative outlet Nova24TVthe media channel reported on Wednesday, May 29th. The home and car of the channel’s director Boris Tomašič, a long-time government critic, were also searched, and his laptop and phone were confiscated.

Appearing on a talk show immediately after the raids, Tomašič explained that the raids had been carried out simply to obstruct the channel’s work and intimidate its staff before the upcoming European elections. 

The raids were carried out just ten days before the EU elections. “Coincidence? Certainly not,” Tomašič wrote on X.

Policijska preiskava na.@Nova24TV. Razlog prijava v politične namene zlorabljene preiskovalne komisije.
Zasegli mi bodo telefon in računalnik. 10 dni pred volitvami. Naključje? Zagotovo ne.

— Boris Tomašič (@NeMaramButlov) May 29, 2024

“They came to intimidate us. You won’t succeed. We are not afraid of you. We will continue our work,” Tomašič said. Neither he nor any other employee of Nova24TV are suspects in the investigation, he stated.

Tomašič said the commission that ordered the raid—originally created to investigate political party financing—has been weaponized against the opposition and the last few independent media outlets in the country. 

In fact, the investigation was ordered by Judge Mojca Kocjančič who is notorious, according to Nova24TV, for previously harassing conservatives. She is also infamous for protecting leftist politicians in corruption scandals. 

As far back as 2010, Judge Kocjančič—and her husband, then-Minister of Justice, Aleš Zalar—has been condemned by Slovenia’s Association of Journalists and Commentators (ZNP), in its “Annual Report on Freedom of the Press,” for the unjust criminal prosecution of journalists critical of the judge.

As the news of the raid broke, former prime minister Janez Janša, leader of the conservative opposition Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS), immediately took to X to blast the leaders of the EU institutions, including Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Parliament President Roberta Metsola, Council President Charles Michel, and commissioners Vera Jourova and Didier Reynders. 

“Is this the rule of law in the middle of the EU?” Janša asked them.

The police @policija_si under @govSlovenia 🇸🇮 is conducting a brutal police investigation of the only significant media that is sympathetic to the opposition.

10 days before the #EP elections!! And @vladaRS is low in public opinion.

Is this the rule of law in the middle of the… pic.twitter.com/6t1d3iQ7KW

— Janez Janša (@JJansaSDS) May 29, 2024

SDS has quickly recovered from last year’s electoral defeat and has been, since September, leading in the polls. It is expected to comfortably win next week’s EU elections with nearly a third of the votes. 

Vera Jourova, the EU’s grotesquely mistitled Transparency Commissioner, will not be any help in protecting media freedom in Slovenia from such raids, since she is alleged by some observers to have personally enabled the rule-of-law abuse that’s been ongoing in Slovenia since the leftist government of Dr. Robert Golob and his Freedom Movement party (Gibanje Svoboda), formerly the Green Actions Party (Stranka zelenih dejanj), won the 2022 elections.

Incidentally, Jourova met with the head of the constitutional court in private just days before it made a decision that allowed the government to overtake the national broadcaster Radio Slovenija and purge it of all conservative journalists. 

“If former Prime Minister Janša’s government did anything of the kind, the European Commission immediately would have initiated Article 7 proceedings,” an SDS official told The European Conservative a few months ago.

What’s more, after being accused of influencing the court’s decision, the Commissioner Jourova refused to disclose documents related to that meeting—despite the European ombudsman’s explicit call to do so, highlighting Brussels’ serious transparency problems and double standards when it comes to the rule of law.

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