The case of journalist Dušan Karolyi should be a “reminder of pressing need to reform Slovak laws concerning libel in compliance with international standards of the freedom of speech”, the International Press Institute (IPI) opines, as quoted by the SITA newswire.
In its press release, the IPI welcomed the decision form last week, in which Slovak General Prosecutor Jaromír Čižnár dropped the charge of libel against journalist Dušan Karolyi.
The former reporter of the Trend economic weekly faced five years in prison for the article titled Prešov’s Catch XXII published in August 2013 in which wrote about the case of former employee of the Office for Fight against Organised Crime (ÚBOK), Jaroslav Dujava, who was suspected of abusing his powers as a public official.
According to Karolyi, Dujava allegedly broke the law when using unnecessary and excessive force to detain Alexander Ducár, one of the owners of Kompit, a company possessing lucrative real estate in Prešov. A police commando unit detained Ducár at noon and transported him across the whole city, which made it seem like the police had caught a high-ranking mafia member. Ducár allegedly ordered the beating of one of Kompit’s owners, but the investigation has never proved this, Karolyi wrote in Trend.
Karolyi pointed to the procrastination of the Prešov District Court, which has been dealing with the Dujava case since August 2005, when a prosecutor’s office filed a lawsuit against him. Due to its inactivity, Prešov District Court judge Marián Mačura cancelled the prosecution against Dujava and other three former police officers because the case is statute-barred. Although Karolyi did not mention the whole name of the police officer, the Prešov police investigator claimed he caused social harm. Karolyi submitted complaint against the criminal prosecution, but the Prešov district prosecutor dismissed it.
General Prosecutor Jaromír Čižnár stopped the case when on October 1, he dropped the charge against Dušan Karolyi.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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8. Oct 2014 at 10:00