A judge from the Bratislava IV District Court rejected the lawsuit filed by former Prime Minister Robert Fico against Petit Press, the publisher of the Sme daily, involving a demand for €33,000 because of a cartoon by Martin Shooty Šútovec released on July 9, 2009, which depicted the then-prime minister at the doctor’s appointment checking an x-ray that showed no spine, the SITA newswire wrote.
The physician tells the man in the picture that his cervical spine problems must only be “phantom pain”. The daily published the cartoon last July when Prime Minister Fico had reportedly been suffering from a cervical spine problem and had to cancel his program several times.
Judge Silvia Walterova ruled, as reported by SITA, that the comment by the cartoon’s author concerned the prime minister and not Fico as a private individual. A prime minister, as a well-known person, must withstand a greater scope of criticism than ordinary citizens the judge said.
“I consider it a victory of common sense,” commented the legal representative of the publisher, Tomáš Kamenec. Fico’s lawyer, Zuzana Kupcová, refused to comment on the verdict. She just said that they would appeal it.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
13. Jul 2010 at 14:00