The Higher Court in Zaječar has passed a binding verdict sentencing local man Petar Stojković to a six-month prison term to be spent in the confines of his own home for threatening Miljko Stojanović, a fellow Zaječar native and journalist of national daily newspaper Danas.
In addition to the house-arrest sentence, a three-year restraining order was also issued, banning Stojković from approaching the journalist or communicating with him.
Stojković received the exact same sentence from the Basic Court in Zaječar back in in February. However, in upholding the defendant’s appeal, the Higher Court determined that the threats directed against the journalist could not be linked directly to his journalistic work, as had been determined by the Basic Court, with the explanation that the threats had been posted on a private Facebook profile.
Stojanović received the threats on 12th March last year, after publishing an article about a Ukrainian man who fled Lviv had headed to Zaječar following the outbreak of Russian aggression against Ukraine.
Speaking after the trial, the journalist’s lawyer said that his client was satisfied with the sentence, but not with the court’s stance – as it is clear that the threats were issued in response to the journalist’s article and that he views the medium for issuing the threats – even if it was the personal Facebook profile of the victim – as being completely irrelevant.
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