THE SUPREME Court, as an institution, has filed a lawsuit against Rádio Expres, claiming that the station falsely reported that the Supreme Court had spent €32,700 on refurbishment of the bathroom used by its president, Štefan Harabin.
Harabin, who brought the lawsuit against the private radio station on behalf of the Supreme Court, is demanding €200,000 in damages, the SITA newswire reported.
The Supreme Court said that renovation of its bathroom cost only €2,279 and the figure reported by the radio station was the cost of renovation of the entire office.
Rádio Expres had quoted an amount earlier reported by the Pravda daily, which is also being sued for damaging the court’s reputation.
“This lawsuit is not aimed at protecting the reputation of the court, but at the liquidation of media who say things that are ‘inconvenient’,” said Pavol Múdry, a board member of the International Press Institute (IPI).
“We are concerned at the repeated use in Slovakia of civil defamation lawsuits, accompanied by disproportionate damage demands targeting the media,” said IPI Deputy Director Alison Bethel McKenzie in an IPI press release. “Such a trend creates an environment in which independent media may feel pressured and intimidated and acts as a restriction on investigative reporting.”
17. May 2010 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff