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Zivkovic Samardzic Secures Press Council Victory Against Politika

Zivkovic Samardzic Secures Press Council Victory Against Politika

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Zivkovic Samardzic is reporting that it successfully represented Veran Matic, Chairman of the Serbian Commission responsible for investigating killings of journalists, in a complaint to the Press Council about an article published by Serbia's Politika newspaper.

The May 19, 2017 article in dispute consisted of a commentary authored by Djordje Martic, who was Editor in Chief of the now-defunct daily newspaper Politika Ekspres when it published, on April 5, 1999, a commentary titled “Curuvija Greeted the Bombs” accusing prominent journalist Slavko Curuvija of being happy about the fact that Serbia suffered daily NATO air raids at the time.

Martic's commentary is believed to have formed part of the groundwork for the subsequent 1999 murder of Curuvija, allegedly carried out by Radomir Markovic, former head of Serbia's State Security Service, Milan Radonjic and Ratko Romic, both formerly employed by the State Security Service, and Miroslav Kurak, who is still at large -- all of whom were indicted for Curuvija’s murder and have been on trial since June, 2015. According to Zivkovic Samardzic, in his May 19, 2017 commentary, Djordje Martic both tried to justify his decision to publish the commentary in 1999, and argued that Curuvija represented no threat to Milosevic’s regime in 1999, but rather to the opposition leader, Zoran Djindjic (the former Prime Minister of Serbia, also assassinated in 2003).

Zivkovic Samardzic's client, Veran Matic, filed a complaint with the Press Council after Politika failed to publish a reply by the Commission to Martic’s May 19, 2017 commentary. On June 29, 2017, the Press Council held that Politika, in publishing Martic’s commentary, breached several clauses of Section I (Accuracy), Section IV (Journalists’ Responsibilities), and Section V (Journalists’ due diligence) of the Serbian Journalists’ Code of Ethics, and required, as a remedial action, the publication of its decision in the newspaper.

According to Zivkovic Samardzic, "the Press Council is an independent, self-regulatory body that brings together publishers, owners of print and online media, news agencies and media professionals. It was established to monitor the observance of the Journalists’ Code of Ethics, solving complaints made by individuals and institutions related to media content."

The Zivkovic Samardzic team successfully representing Veran Matic included Senior Associate Kruna Savovic and Associate Miloc Stojkovic.