Prosecutor withdraws charges of libel against journalist

The journalist originally received an 18-month suspended sentence with three years of probation.

The CT scanner scandal cost Pavol Paška his post as speaker of parliament.The CT scanner scandal cost Pavol Paška his post as speaker of parliament.(Source: Sme)

A prosecutor from the Prosecutor-General’s Office criminal department issued a written instruction to the Košice regional prosecutor on May 16 to withdraw an indictment against journalist Lukáš Milan, who faced charges of libel, TASR learnt from the Prosecutor-General’s Office spokesperson, Andrea Predajňová, on Monday, May 21.

In an article published by the Plus 7 Dní weekly in 2015, Milan wrote about former parliamentary chair Pavol Paška (Smer). The piece came out with the headline “Košice Octopus” and the subtitle “Extortionist Paška?”. The author cited an unnamed entrepreneur as a source, who claimed that Paška demanded kickbacks from him for running business activities in health care.

Read also:A journalist banned from writing because of his story

Paška, who has died in the meantime, filed a criminal complaint against Milan for libel. The journalist received an 18-month suspended sentence with three years of probation and a ban of equal length on journalistic activities. He appealed against the verdict.

After perusing the case file, the prosecutor from the Prosecutor-General’s Office issued a written order to withdraw the indictment due to inappropriately determined facts in the case and an incorrect assessment of the defendant’s appeal, with which he demanded an investigation into the legality of the criminal prosecution.

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