After years of legal proceedings, the Delo newspaper has finally lost. It must publicly apologise to the Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) for Dejan Karba’s controversial statements. Let us recall. On 23 November 2009, the Delo newspaper published an article titled: “Denar iz Patrie ni končal pri Janezu Janši, temveč v njegovi stranki SDS” (The money from Patria did not end up with Janez Janša but with his SDS party) – by Dejan Karba.
After the publication, SDS sued the Delo newspaper, demanding a public apology and a payment of €300,000 in damages. The court of first instance ruled that Delo must pay the plaintiff €10,000 in damages and issue a public apology.
What did the court decide?
The court found that the Delo journalist Dejan Karba deliberately mislead the public when he had claimed that the Finnish investigator Kaj Erik Björqvist had said that the money from Patria had definitely ended up at SDS and that they had irrefutable evidence of this. “There is a large difference between the statement that the Finnish police has a lot of information about the Patria money ending up in Slovenia and that they are also investigating the claim that the money flowed into SDS on one hand and the statement that the collected evidence definitely proves this claim on the other,” the court found.
The court also rejected the claim from Delo that the average reader could glean from the title that it merely refers to the investigative direction of the Finnish authorities and not the fact that SDS had received the money. “The average reader could understand the title of the article only in the sense of findings by the Finnish criminal investigators as presented in the article, but their findings had been fundamentally different from those that are attributed to them, and the correct conclusion of the contested judgement is that the defendant (Delo) acted in conflict with the requirement of providing accurate and reliable information and that it could not have done this in good faith,” the court wrote.
As we can see, the court found that Delo in bad faith (i.e. with the intention of slandering SDS) wrote an article with an untruthful title and content. This only confirms the fact that Delo is one of the main members of the regime media, and that it discredits opponents of the transitional left when necessary – even by using fake news. The decision of the court clearly shows what kind of reality we live in. Members of the media which have been considered credible up to now are revealed by such verdicts to be nothing more than #fakenews.