Damages suits against protesters withdrawn

Ljubljana – The State Attorney’s Office has withdrawn suits against individuals to compensate the Interior Ministry for the costs of policing anti-government protests held in the past two years. This was after the ministry under the new government withdrew its consent for the damages claims last week.

Acting on behalf of the ministry, the State Attorney’s Office filed the first such lawsuit late last year, but the main hearing in the case has not yet started in court.

The State Attorney’s Office on Monday said that it agreed with the withdrawal of lawsuits in such cases. As soon as it was notified by the ministry, it asked the court for all three such suits to be withdrawn.

Sometime ago, the newspaper Dnevnik reported that the State Attorney’s Office warned the Interior Ministry and the police on several occasions that the lawsuits would not succeed and that it was impossible to prove Jaša Jenull, whom the suits targeted, organised the protests. However, the Janez Janša government forced the State Attorney’s Office to file three claims for damages, Dnevnik reported.

Under the previous minister, Aleš Hojs, the Interior Ministry decided to claim compensation for the costs of policing from alleged organizers of protest rallies. They targeted Jaša Jenull, one of the protest figureheads. However, as Tatjana Bobnar took over as new minister the consents for the suits were withdrawn.

In the meantime, the Constitutional Court ruled the government restrictions to movement and assembly in prevention of coronavirus transmission were in contravention of the constitution in parts where they banned protest rallies.