Journalist ordered back to prison


BELGRADE, Yugoslavia -- A journalist convicted in a military secrets scandal was remanded to prison so he can serve out his jail sentence, despite a doctor's advice that he should remain hospitalized, the journalist's friends said Sunday.

Free-lance journalist Janez Jansa was arrested a year ago along with two other Slovenian journalists and a Yugoslav Army officer on charges they leaked a military secret.


Jansa was the first of the four men to go to the jail early this month and the others will go later this year. Jansa subsequently was hospitalized.

Dr. Irena Keber, of the medical center in the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana, Sunday said she could not sign a hospital discharge order on Saturday for Jansa because he had a minor heart condition and a slightly increased body temperature.

'In such health condition and with a stress, there is always some percentage of risk,' Keber said.

Officials at the Slovenian Secretariat for Legislature told police to take Jansa, 31, from the Ljubljana Medical Center to a jail outside the Slovenian capital and keep him there under doctors' control.

'Yugoslavia is the country where patients are sent to a prison despite doctors' protests,' Igor Bavcar, president of the Slovenian Committee for Human Rights, said Sunday.


Bavcar, a 33-year-old liberal intellectual and a leader of what is described as 'unofficial opposition' to the ruling Communist party in Yugoslavia's northwestern Slovenia state, has been conducting a campaign to force a retrial for Jansa.

On July 27, the Ljubljana military court sentenced Army Sgt. Maj. Ivan Borstner, 42, to four years in jail, Jansa and Franc Zavrl, 27, to 18 months each, and David Tasic, 28, to 10 months.

The court found that in January 1988, Borstner 'illegally' took a 'very confidential military document' about the 'organization, tasks and combat readiness of some units of the Yugoslav Peoples Army,' photocopied it and handed over to the three journalists to use it in writing articles.

Jansa refused to report to a jail and police took him to prison on May Day.

All their appeals have been turned down, and the Yugoslav Supreme Military Court in Belgrade in October upheld the jail sentences.

Slovenian Communist party and government leaders have alleged the 'case of the four' violated the sovereignty of Slovenia state because the Yugoslav Army abused its power when it put the three civilians on trial before a Yugoslav military court instead of before a Slovenian civilian court.

Slovenians, who saw the arrest of the three journalists as a crackdown on Slovenian liberals in the richest of Yugoslavia's six republics, staged mass demonstrations in Ljubljana during the July trial.


They protested what they said was the Yugoslav Army's 'interference' in Slovenia's civilian affairs.

Several hundred of Ljubljana University students Thursday and Friday boycotted classes and exams to show their support for Jansa, and the Slovenian Writers Union was staging 'protest nights of poetry' in its Ljubljana headquarters.

Latest Headlines


Follow Us