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News 07 Nov 17

Serbian Far Right Leader Acquitted For Publishing 'Traitor' List

A Serbian far-right leader has been acquitted of all charges after publishing a list describing 30 actors, directors, writers, political analysts and journalists as "the greatest haters of the Serb people".

Filip Rudic
BIRN
Belgrade
SNP Nasi leader Ivan Ivanovic. Photo: Facebook/SNP Nasi

The president of a far-right group, the Serbian National Movement Nasi ['ours'], was acquitted of persecution, racial discrimination and other forms of discrimination Tuesday. Ivan Ivanoviv faced charges for publishing a blacklist of public figures who he said were anti-Serb "traitors".

The judge at Belgrade's Higher Court justified the verdict by saying that some of the witnesses had said they felt "persecuted", but no one of them said that Ivanovic personally committed the persecution, Beta news agency reported.

Some people on the list did not respond to the court summons.

"Although I try to maintain hope that I live in a somewhat orderly and 'normal' country, reality squashes my hopes every day," said Mirjana Karanovic, an actress whose name appeared on the blacklist.

Karanovic told BIRN that the only thing she can do is keep living her life and try not to think about whether someone could attack her in the street or in the workplace.

The blacklist, which was first published on the internet in 2014, included actors Mirjana Karanovic and Nikola Djuricko, journalists Svetlana Lukic and Petar Lukovic, writer Svetislav Basara and popular folk singer Jelena Karleusa.

After sentencing, Ivanovic said that that the list stood as a "political statement" and that the verdict proved that SNP Nasi did not persecute anyone.

"We placed on that list the persons we believed are working against the Constitution of Serbia," Ivanovic told the press in front of the Court.

SNP Nasi is known for promoting the idea of a ‘Greater Serbia’, and have previously stood accused of inciting violence at LGBT parades before the Progressive Party assumed power. The group strongly opposes Kosovo’s independence, Serbia’s EU integration process and are instead heavily oriented towards Russia.

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