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Publisher to appeal libel verdict for SNS chair Ján Slota

The Ringier publishing house will appeal the verdict handed down by the Žilina District Court on June 11 which ordered the publisher to pay €20,000 in damages to the chairman of the Slovak National Party (SNS), Ján Slota, for an article published in the Nový čas daily, the SITA newswire wrote. The publishing house says it strongly disagrees with the court's verdict.

The Ringier publishing house will appeal the verdict handed down by the Žilina District Court on June 11 which ordered the publisher to pay €20,000 in damages to the chairman of the Slovak National Party (SNS), Ján Slota, for an article published in the Nový čas daily, the SITA newswire wrote. The publishing house says it strongly disagrees with the court's verdict.

SNS Press Secretary Jana Benková stated that the SNS leader succeeded in his lawsuit against the publishing house for the article entitled “He Became Boss of Thieves” published in the Nový čas daily last March.

According to the article, as a young man, Ján Slota was arrested with Jozef Rendek at the beginning of the 1970s in an attempt to cross the border between Austria and then Czechoslovakia. The article features information that Rendek later became a member of a gang of thieves that also committed an armed robbery.

Ringier PR manager Jana Prístavková said the publisher wonders why the judge did not take into consideration the fact that after reading the headline and the whole article, readers must realize that the daily did not call Slota the boss of a gang of thieves, but rather his companion Jozef Rendek. SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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