Photo: Perica Gunjic, Cenzolovka

Politician accused of orchestrating arson attack on journalist’s house is suing whistleblowers, but not coming to trial

November 18, 2019

Dragoljub Simonović, the former president of the Municipality of Grocka, who is on trial for the arson attack on the house of Žig info portal journalist Milan Jovanović, has sued the portal’s editor, Željko Matorčević, and Jovanović himself, as well as a former communal inspector in Grocka, Srećko Vasić. The lawsuit has been prompted by a petition seeking an inquiry into the origins of Simonović’s assets, to determine whether he was involved in malpractice and corruption in the municipality, which the defendants collected in Grocka.

The court accepted Simonović’s lawsuit, despite the fact that the defendants are whistleblowers, because the petition was submitted to the public prosecutor in Grocka, which was signed by 50 citizens.

Interestingly, Simonović claims to have sustained “mental anguish” due to the document that hasn’t even been made public. The defendants question how it was possible that Simonović received information that they had addressed the public prosecutor of the Municipality of Grocka.

Lawyer Ana Matić Alimpijević says that it is the constitutional right of every citizen to petition a competent institution and that such a petition cannot form the basis of any adverse consequences.

Simonović, otherwise, did not appear for the hearing of this lawsuit. One of a total of as many as 15 lawsuits filed by Simonović against portal Žig info was previously dismissed due to the court having declared it unfounded.