Ruling party officials file suit against two media outlets and daily newspaper columnist

November 1, 2018

Branko Malović, one of the main operatives of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party and the vice president of its executive board, has sued Nenad Živković, a journalist of Pančevo-based portal, and Dragana Rakić, a columnist of daily newspaper ‘Danas’.

Both journalists are being sued in response to articles that are critical of this ruling party and its senior officials.

Malović is seeking just over 4,000 euros from each defendant, claiming “the suffering of mental anguish”.

The editorial department of portal, which operates as a civil society media outlet, announced this  as the latest case of pressure being exerted on professional, free, objective and critical journalism.

Journalists’ associations called on both President Aleksandar Vučić and Prime Minister Ana Brnabić to publicly and unequivocally condemn the applying of pressure via court campaigns against journalists and media outlets with independent editorial policies.

Darko Laketić, an MP of the ruling party in the National Assembly of Serbia, also complained of suffering mental anguish and the defamation of his character which led him to file suit against Niš-based portal Južne vesti, claiming that this media outlet published false information pertaining to his apartments in Belgrade. Južne vesti claims to have published the information in question on the basis of official state sources on real estate.