06 Dec 2018 Lvl. 2
Alert created on: 30 Mar 2017 n° 34/2017 Serbia
Journalist Stefan Cvetkovic Sentenced to Jail for Unauthorised Publication
On 14 March 2017, freelance journalist Stefan Cvetkovic was found guilty by the court of the city of Vršac (Serbia) of unauthorised publication and presentation of somebody else’s texts and recordings. The journalist received a two year and three month jail sentence and must pay a €17,000 fine for insult. According to the legal advisor of Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia (NUNS), Cvetkovic has appealed against the judgment and is waiting for the second instance court ruling. His sentence is suspended and he remains free. Mr Cvetkovic was prosecuted after three officials from the ruling party filed a complaint against him. The Serbian journalist was investigating the role of the said officials in criminal matters. Previously he had filed a complaint against local authorities on the grounds of misuse of public funds in 2014.
06 Dec 2018: In April 2018, the High Court in Pancevo annulled the decision of the lower court on the sentence. On 6 December 2018, the partner organisations to the Platform declared this case to be “resolved”, concluding it was no longer an active threat to media freedom.
09 May 2018
In April 2018, the High Court in Pancevo annulled the decision by which, on 14 March 2017, Stefan Cvetkovic’s had been found guilty of libel, unauthorised publication and presentation of somebody else’s texts and recordings.
11 Apr 2017
On 11 April 2017 the Pančeva Supreme Court annulled the initial sentence and returned the case to the primary court in Vršac for a re-trial.
16 Apr 2018
Reply from the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia
23 Feb 2018
Commissioner for Human Rights: ‘Concerted efforts needed to protect media freedoms in Serbia’