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Group including acting chief prosecutor sues newspaper for nearly €1 million

A group of lawyers who attended a party in 2010 which was subsequently reported by the Nový Čas daily have filed a lawsuit against the newspaper, claiming compensation of €940,000. The daily published a series of stories about the event, at which the men were welcomed by retired lawyer Tibor Péchy bearing a machine gun and a pair of blue ear defenders in a style which reportedly resembled the appearance of mass-murderer Ľubomír Harman, the Sme daily reported on February 25.

A group of lawyers who attended a party in 2010 which was subsequently reported by the Nový Čas daily have filed a lawsuit against the newspaper, claiming compensation of €940,000. The daily published a series of stories about the event, at which the men were welcomed by retired lawyer Tibor Péchy bearing a machine gun and a pair of blue ear defenders in a style which reportedly resembled the appearance of mass-murderer Ľubomír Harman, the Sme daily reported on February 25.

Harman massacred seven people and injured several more in the Bratislava borough of Devínska Nová Ves in August 2010, just weeks before the party took place.

The lawyers, including acting general prosecutor Ladislav Tichý, now say that the resemblance between Péchy's outfit and the Harman's was accidental. They claim that blue ear defenders are common among marksmen and that the pictures published by Nový Čas were "a photomontage". Moreover, they say that pictures and videos show that drinks being served on the tables was mainly spring water and that those present wore "decent clothes" and "nothing [at the event] evoked perversion".

The International Press Institute criticised the legal action.

“It is depraved for the judicial elite tries to defend [its] inappropriate behaviour by submitting lawsuits against journalists,” said Pavol Múdry, the head of the Slovak arm of the International Press Institute, as quoted by Sme.

Source: Sme

For more information about this story please see: Shooting massacre shakes Slovakia

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
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