28 Sep 10

Macedonian Journalist Escapes Jail

A Macedonian journalist arrested for failing to pay his fine in a controversial slander case has avoided jail after his colleagues settled the payment.

Sinisa Jakov Marusic

Emil Zafirovski, a journalist for the local weekly Forum, was detained by police in a café in Skopje on Monday for failing to pay a €500 fine or serve a 25 days in prison after he was sentenced in a slander case dating back to 2004.

But Zafirovski told local media he never received a court notice to appear on trial and was never notified about the sentence.

“I still do not know who sued me and when the court verdict was reached,” Zafirovski said upon his release.

His arrest came after he notified police of his location after they phoned him.

The Forum newspaper said Zafirovski had been denied the right to defend himself in a fair trial and it would raise his case with relevant domestic and international institutions.

There have been almost 200 slander cases against journalists in Macedonia over the last four years, according to official data from the Ministry of Justice.

The Macedonian Journalist’s Association, ZNM, has been calling for slander to be decriminalised in line with practices in some western democracies.

Macedonia’s ruling VMRO DPMNE party instructed its officials to withdraw all slander charges against journalists in December 2008.

There are currently 12 cases against reporters outstanding.

The media watchdog Freedom House said in its latest report that legislation covering slander was one of the main obstacles journalists in the country faced in doing their job.

It ranked Macedonia media as partly free, with 4.25 points on a scale of one-to-seven, with seven representing the worst possible conditions.

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Related Headlines:

macedonia-opposition-nominates-zaev-as-pm-candidate-02-25-2017
25 Feb 17

Macedonia Opposition Nominates Zaev as PM Candidate

Macedonia's main opposition party, the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM) formally nominated its leader, Zoran Zaev, as a prime ministerial candidate Saturday, after securing support for a parliamentary majority.

24 Feb 17

Balkan Retail Giant Agrokor Faces New Troubles

24 Feb 17

Serbia Braces for Bumpy Election Ride

Premium Selection

montenegro-coup-claims-leave-russian-media-dumbfounded-02-23-2017-1
24 Feb 17

Montenegro Coup Claims Leave Russian Media Dumbfounded

The media in Russia have been following the latest dramas in Montenegro with intense interest – though most see it as little more than a slur campaign.

serbia-braces-for-bumpy-election-ride-02-23-2017
24 Feb 17

Serbia Braces for Bumpy Election Ride

The pro-government media are stepping up their negative campaigns, vilifying opposition candidates standing in April’s presidential election.

21 Feb 17

Croatia Profits from Syria’s Gruesome War