Journalists who were screened in 2017, allegedly in relation to the Filip Rybanič case, are considering going to court together, the SITA newswire reported.
Rybanič, sentenced to a three-year suspended sentence with a one-year probation period in 2019, used to work at the bank where he looked into the bank accounts of ex-interior minister Robert Kaliňák.
The police claim they wanted to know whether he had passed information to journalists. However, they did not screen just journalists but also their relatives. Now, the journalists would like to claim a non-pecuniary damage for violation of privacy and their personal rights, SITA wrote.Read also:Read more
If they succeed in court, they are planning to pass any financial compensation awarded by the court to activities related to the memory of murdered journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová.
Kuciak was also one of the journalists screened. Yet, his screening took place in autumn 2017, a few months after the screenings of other journalists.
Valček has turned to court
One of the journalists who has already gone to court to claim the non-pecuniary damage is journalist Adam Valček, who works for the Sme daily. In criminal proceedings, he claimed compensation for non-material damage of €20,000, as reported by SITA.
Valček expects his case will be moved to the civil proceedings.
Not all journalists have made up their mind. Former journalist Zuzana Petková, despite considering the claim for non-pecuniary damage, wants to talk to her lawyer first, SITA reported.Read also:Read more
It's their right
Journalists can claim non-material damage in this case, lawyer Tomáš Kamenec of the Paul Q law firm told SITA.
“The person concerned has the right to seek compensation for non-pecuniary damage in the form of money for any unauthorized interference with personal rights,” said Kamenec, as quoted by SITA. “The unlawful screening is an unjustified violation of the right to privacy and personal integrity, which are, in a broader sense, personal rights pertaining to every person.”
The court will look into whether the screenings were actually unlawful and who was in charge of them, Kamenec added. Moreover, the court will say how much money journalists would be awarded.
21. Aug 2019 at 13:05 | Compiled by Spectator staff