- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- All Balkan Countries
Podgorica’s high court has rejected an appeal aimed at overturning a nine-month prison sentence for the beating of a reporter.
The court on Thursday threw out the appeal submitted by the defendant's attorney and confirmed the verdict sentencing Ivan Buskovic, who attacked journalist Olivera Lakic, to nine months in jail.
Ivan Buskovic beat up Lakic on March 7, 2012. The journalist was attacked from behind in front of her apartment building. Buskovic was arrested several days later and convicted in July.
In 2011, Lakic wrote a series of articles for independent Podgorica-based daily paper Vijesti about the Montenegrin cigarette factory Tara and the Montenegrin Tobacco Company.
In the articles, Lakic claimed that Tara was producing cigarettes with fake labels. The state prosecutor and police launched an investigation and immediately afterwards, Lakic started receiving threats.
This was not the first time that Vijesti had been hit by violence. Over a two-month period in 2011, there were three attacks on the paper's vehicles in Podgorica.
Police failed to solve several other previous attacks on journalists in Montenegro and the country has a poor media freedom record by regional standards.
In the World Press Freedom Index for 2011, published by the Paris-based watchdog Reporters Without Borders, Montenegro came last among Balkan states for the second year in a row.
The Serbian paramilitary who became a key prosecution witness at his former comrades’ trial for war crimes in Kosovo says he had to speak out about the brutal massacres his unit committed.