Serbian Government Minister Files Four Lawsuits Against Investigative Newsroom

January 31, 2018

Within the space of one month, Nenad Popović – Minister without Portfolio in the Government of Serbia – filed four lawsuits against the Crime and Corruption Reporting Network (KRIK).

Popović is suing this investigative journalism network due to citations in two KRIK articles mentioning his personal affairs and wealth. He claims, amongst other things, that it is not true that he owns offshore companies.

The articles in question are, according to KRIK, based on original documentation leaked as part of the Paradise Papers international research project, which revealed the hidden property assets and affairs of politicians and celebrities worldwide.

From this newsroom they also add that the minister registered his offshore companies with the national Agency for the Fight against Corruption and that they can be seen in his property card, which is available publicly.

In each of these lawsuits Popović demanded compensation of a million dinars (over 8,000 euros) for defamation of his honour and reputation. Some lawyers note that the aim of such lawsuits is to financially drain critically-orientated media, while journalists’ associations warn that this is a case of intimidation from a position of power.

The international organisation ‘Index on Censorship’, by mapping violations of media freedom and the lawsuits filed against KRIK by Minister Popović, expressing concern about that.