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:

prosecution-started-investigation-on-grabovci-s-wiretapped-conversations-08-26-2016
26 Aug 16

Kosovo Probes Ruling Party MP Grabovci over Wiretaps

The Special Prosecutor’s Office launched an investigation into ruling party MP Adem Grabovci after leaked wiretaps sparked allegations that he influenced public-sector appointments.

26 Aug 16

Turkey Sets Visa-Free Deadline for EU

26 Aug 16

Accused Kosovo Politician Azem Syla Released

26 Aug 16

Belgrade’s Ancient Crafts Guardians

Premium Selection

belgrade-s-ancient-crafts-guardians-02-05-2016
26 Aug 16

Belgrade’s Ancient Crafts Guardians

A traditional shoe-making shop is finding a way to survive and thrive in the modern world. Now, a fourth generation of the family is preparing to take the reins.

denis-zvizdic-the-loyal-party-soldier-tipped-for-the-top-08-22-2016
26 Aug 16

Denis Zvizdic: Loyal Party Soldier Tipped for the Top

Speculation is rife that Zvizdic, chairman of Bosnia’s Council of Ministers and loyal SDA party soldier, harbours state-level presidential ambitions.

19 Aug 16

Dacian Ciolos: Romania’s Technocratic PM

19 Aug 16

Sarajevo Siege Film Explores Legacy of Trauma

Latest News from the Balkans

26 Aug 16

Turkey Sets Visa-Free Deadline for EU

26 Aug 16

Accused Kosovo Politician Azem Syla Released