Complaint of a group of public figures who accuse the media of anti-state activities rejected

November 15, 2018

The Constitutional Court of Serbia has rejected a constitutional complaint issued by a group of public figures who made reportedly unfounded accusations that pro-government media were linked to foreign agents and accused them of aggressively violating the constitutional order, as well as of participating in a conspiracy against Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić.

Responding to such accusations, Ilir Gaši, former director of the Slavko Ćuruvija Foundation, journalists Antonela Riha, Tamara Skrozza and Vukašin Obradović, along with actors Sergej and Branislav Trifunović, filed criminal charges against editor-in-chief of pro-government tabloid “Informer”, Dragan J. Vučićević, TV Pink owner Željko Mitrović, as well as those responsible for two obscure pro-government portals. All the accused media and their owners are alleged to have campaigned for years against journalists, artists and other public figures who are critical of the authorities.

The criminal charges were initially rejected by the Higher Public Prosecutor’s Office in Belgrade, and then, following an appeal, were also rejected by the Appellate Prosecutor’s Office. The ruling of the Appellate Prosecutor’s Office prompted this group of public figures to file a constitutional complaint, which was then rejected by the Constitutional Court.

With all legal options having been exhausted in Serbia, this group of public figures announced that it will continue proceedings before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.