THE COURT has agreed to exclude the public from portions of a hearing involving Prime Minister Robert Fico. Fico brought a lawsuit against the Sme daily for publishing a cartoon which depicted him as a person lacking a spine.
Fico asked the judge to exclude the public from the courtroom in his hearing against Petit Press publishing house, arguing that he will be testifying about private matters including his health. The judge agreed to exclude media representatives from the courtroom for the parts of the hearing when Fico’s health is discussed.
Fico’s lawsuit claims that cartoonist Martin Šútovec, alias Shooty, ridiculed his health condition and the Prime Minister is demanding an apology and €33,000 in damages.
Sme lawyer Tomáš Kamenec argued against the media exclusion, contending that discussions of Fico’s health are irrelevant to the case. The daily has never questioned that the Prime Minister’s suffered from physical pain.
Fico also requested that the media be banned from taking photos of the face of his lawyer Zuzana Kupcová. When the judge rejected that request, Fico left the courtroom abruptly and said he no longer wanted to testify, Sme wrote.
10. May 2010 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff