Former Trend reporter faces possible charges over alleged libel

Journalist Dušan Karolyi, a former reporter of the Trend economic weekly, could face a five-year prison sentence for libel for his story called Prešovská Hlava XXII published in the weekly last year.

Journalist Dušan Karolyi, a former reporter of the Trend economic weekly, could face a five-year prison sentence for libel for his story called Prešovská Hlava XXII published in the weekly last year.

In August 2013, Karolyi covered the case of former employee of the Office for Fight against Organised Crime (ÚBOK), Jaroslav Dujava, who was suspected of abusing the powers of public official. Dujava was accused by prosecutor’s office almost 10 years ago; and Karolyi, Prešov-based journalist, pointed to the fact that the PO was procrastinating the case with its inactivity, so that the deed of Dujava and three other police officers became lapsed and unpunishable, the Trend.sk website wrote.

“The case from Prešov shows the depth of the fall of the law enforceability [in Slovakia] has experienced,” Karolyi wrote last year.

The criminal complaint concerning the story was filed by Dujava himself. Although the journalist did not mention his name, he alleged Karolyi to have inflicted social and professional harm on him, according to the investigator of Prešov police, Anton Marcinčin. Dujava argues that the College of Health Care and Social Work of St Elizabeth where he worked as external inceptor did not conclude a contract with him for the next school year.

Spokesman of the regional police presidium in Prešov Daniel Džobanik confirmed for the Trend that for the misdemeanour of libel, the Criminal Code foresees one to five years in prison as a sentence. Karolyi filed a complaint against the decision to criminally prosecute the reporter. The district prosecutor refused it, arguing among other things that Dujava does not have sufficient space for explaining his case.

The Mediálne.sk website approached Dujava who in a statement sent in a written form stressed that he has not filed the criminal complaint against specific persons, but rather against an unknown perpetrator. “I perceive the publicly presented information as purportedly directed against me, and not just as mere social discomfort, but mainly as a grave way of interfering in my rights, protected by the Constitution,” he stated.

Karolyi, who worked for Trend until August 2014, received a journalistic award this year, and now is the chief editor of the new Košice-based evening paper košice:dnes, which will start appearing in mid-September. He argues that he criticised the inactivity of the court in his story and denies any personal or emotional, connection, be it positive or negative, with Dujava.

(Source: Trend, Mediálne.sk)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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