THE TÝŽDEŇ weekly could face a lawsuit for an article entitled “The Great Tax Burglary”, published in its March 3 issue. Budamar Logistics, a company which is featured prominently in the article, is asking the publisher not only for a printed apology, but also for €20 million in financial compensation, which is one of the highest fines sought from a media outlet in Slovakia.

The company claims that the information in the article misrepresents the firm and harms its reputation.

If the publisher of Týždeň, company W Press, does not accept these conditions, the case will go to court, the Omediach.com website reported on March 10.

The piece describes a dubious network of businesses, which according to Týždeň, robbed the state of nearly €22 million.

“Once more – we have to pay the responsible company €20 million,” Týždeň’s editor-in-chief Štefan Hríb wrote in his editorial, adding that he does not know of any case where such a high sum was sought from a weekly publication.

Hríb also wondered whether Budamar Logistics considers the €20 million “a lost profit, so it is asking for it back”. He still defends both the reporter, Marek Vagovič, and the information stated in the piece.

“I know only one thing – the article by Marek Vagovič is a result of long and honest investigative work in the area of sophisticated fraud, which I fully support, and the absurd intimidation with astronomical fine will not change this,” Hríb wrote, as quoted by Omediach.com, adding that nothing will prevent the exposing of carousel fraud in the future.

Though Týždeň has faced several lawsuits, its representatives were surprised by the complaint they received on March 7, Omediach.com reported.

Law firm Prosman and Pavlovič, which represents Budamar Logistics, responded that they asked W Press to publish a response and an apology in order to prevent the “occurrence of other damages and potential proceedings”, Omediach.com wrote.

The compensation Budamar Logistics seeks could put big publishers out of business, including W Press. Ringier Axel Springer is also facing several lawsuits over a series of articles about the Bonnano bar published by its Nový Čas daily, but none of them are as high as this one, Omediach.com reported.

Source: Omediach.com

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.