So sue me! (source)
A shocker! Contrary to my expectiations, PM Janez Janša went ahead and actually filed a suit against his predecesor Tone Rop. The date is obviusly not a coincidence, as Janša seems to be on a brink of a breakthrough in negotiating a settlement of several Slovene-Croatian disputes. This settlement (if sucessful) wil have been achieved with Croatian PM Ivo Sanader, with whom (according to Rop claims) Janša has coordinated border incidents in the Bay of Piran just prior to Slovene 2004 elections, when he got elected as PM and replaced Tone Rop in office.
Also, the filing of the suit comes only days before Iztok Podpregar, former top Slovene spy, who broke the news of allegend Janša’s involvement in the incidents to Rop, is due to testify before the parliamentary committee overseeing the intelligence services. Podbregar is expected to be quizzed especially about the supposed eavesdropping on Janša and Sanader.
Janša’s move could mean any number of things: If the dispute with Croatia is settled, the question of his involvement would suddenly become less important. Not because his alleged actions would be any less… how shall I put it… deplorable, but simply because it would become so last Tuesday and noone would care to open issues that were barely closed.
On the other hand it could be that Janša is running scared and is trying to bluff his way out of a very bad predicament. Namely -if Rop’s allegations are true (as hinted at by the German secret service) than Janša has nowhere to hide and can only hope that the other fellow will blink first. Knowing Rop, this is not likely to happen.
And thirdly, it could be that Janša is only covering his bases. If the deal with Croatians does not go through, he can still try to pin it on Rop, saying that the latter undermined Slovenia’s negotiating positions by his claims.
Anyways, the ball is now in Rop’s court. As Janša is filing a private suit, the burden of proof lies with Rop, meaning that in order to win the case, Rop must prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that his allegations are correct. Short of producing the transcripts and/or several strong material witnesess, I fail to see how that can be done. So I asume Rop’s got his bases covered – why else would he play such a dangerous game?
But the sad part is that we now have two people, who – each in his own time – were (are) the most informed and powerful men in this country are due in court to decide who knew what and when. Again…. this is not you calling your neighbour a cunt and him calling you a pussy, but about two prime ministers, one basically accusing the other of high treason. This is impeachment stuff, and not a matter for a disctrict court.
Only in Slovenia, ladies and gentlemen, only in Slovenia
UPDATE: Hours ago PM has replaced three ministers and Director of SOVA. See my comment @ 4:41 pm for details.