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Journalist reports alleged death threat from mayor's son

(IPI/IFEX) - VIENNA, Friday, 15 October 2010 - A Slovenian journalist was allegedly threatened with death on Sunday 10 October by a prominent Ljubljana-based businessman after investigating his company, the journalist told the International Press Institute on Thursday.

Jaka Elikan, a reporter for Slovene business daily Finance, had been conducting investigations into Electa, a company owned by Jure Jankovic, son of Ljubljana mayor Zoran Jankovic. Whilst at an event celebrating Jankovic Senior's re-election, Jankovic Junior was heard making alleged threats to Elikan.

In the presence of several other people, including other journalists, Jankovic Junior reportedly said to an associate, "Kill this person," clearly indicating Elikan.

Elikan, who had attempted to ask Jankovic Junior questions at the event, was left shaken by the incident and has pressed charges against Jankovic Junior. The Jankovics are one of Slovenia's wealthiest families and enjoy strong political connections.

Speaking to IPI, Elikan said: "I am afraid but I have a lot of support. I am not as afraid as I was at first, but I am afraid for freedom of speech and freedom of the media . . . "

Elikan says that he will not let the incident hamper his reporting and that he would continue to report on the mayor, his family and their business affairs, but he is concerned that threats made against him might deter other journalists from reporting on the Jankovics and other sensitive issues in Slovenia.

"I will report in the same way as I reported before," said Elikan.

IPI Press Freedom Manager Anthony Mills said: "We urge the police to investigate the alleged threat. The authorities must take seriously any allegations of threats to journalists, because an environment in which people feel they can threaten journalists with impunity can have a chilling effect on the willingness of reporters to conduct investigative work."

The South and East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), an IPI affiliate, supports this statement.

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