By Igor Kršinar
Dear journalist colleagues
I would like to invite you to follow the trial against me and two photographers on behalf of the former heads of the Yugoslav communist secret police Udba. According to the Slovenian Penal Code defamation in the printed media is punishable by fine or by imprisonment up to six months. On Thursday 13 November at 12.30 at the Ljubljana district court a trial starts for defamation of the former Yugoslav Udba head Silvo Gorenc who felt dishonoured because of articles I wrote in the Reporter weekly magazine in January this year. This is exactly one month after the beginning of the trial for defamation of the former Slovenian Udba head Janez Zemljarič because of the same articles. In these articles I wrote about the murders of Croatian emigrants abroad in 1970s by killer agents of the Yugoslav secrete police Udba. My story followed the extradition of two Croatian former Udba heads against whom recently a trial started in Germany.
Silvo Gorenc was the head of the Yugoslav Udba from 1972 to 1974, before that he was the head of its Slovenian branch and the secretary of the interior from 1966 to 1969 and 1969 to 1972 respectively. Janez Zemljarič was the chief of the Slovenian Udba from 1974 to 1978, after that he was secretary of the interior till 1980 and then president of the government of the Socialist Republic of Slovenia till 1984. They both filed criminal complaint against me and the photographers, since I wrote about their role in these murders revealed by the researcher Roman Leljak who found in the state archive some documents burdening them. Despite the fact that I just cited his words and documents he had revealed, they felt dishonoured, so they decided to sue me. Gorenc also felt dishonoured because I mentioned the brutal murder of the Ševo family in Italy during his leadership of the Yugoslav Udba. This story was broadcasted on the Croatian public television a few years ago. The former Yugoslav Udba chief also prosecuted me because of citing an excerpt from the book Red horizons written by the former Romanian general Ion Pacepa who described Ceausescu’s meeting with Tito and how the latter offered Gorenc for some murders of the Romanian opponents in the West. This book was published in the USA in 1987 and three years later it was translated into Slovene but Gorenc never filed a complaint against the author. This is why I understand these criminal complaints against me as threats to my work and pressure on the freedom of the press.
I wrote more about these cases in my blogs:
Thank you for your attention. Best regards,
Igor Kršinar, journalist of the Reporter magazine