On Feb. 23, the former head of the Belgrade municipality of Grocka, Dragoljub Simonovic, was sentenced by a first instance court to four years and three months in prison for ordering an arson attack on the house of portal Zig Info journalist Milan Jovanovic.
Aleksandar Marinkovic, who threw a Molotov cocktail in Jovanovic’s house garage, received the same sentence, in absentia. Marinkovic has been at large. Vladimir Mihailovic, at the time an active police office, was sentenced to four years in jail for being the middleman in this crime.
Judge Slavko Zugic said that the damage caused to the house was more than RSD4 million and advised Jovanovic to seek compensation in another trial.
Portal Zig Info journalist Milan Jovanovic described the verdicts as “a harbinger of more media freedom in Serbia.” “I accept to be a victim if it will help younger colleagues to continue with honest reporting, in better conditions and without fear,” Jovanovic said outside the Palace of Justice.