Predrag Koluvija, who has been on a trial on charges of heading a criminal gang which has produced more than one tone of marijuana at Jovanjica farm, has filed a lawsuit against Crime and Corruption Reporting Network (KRIK) and portal editor Stevan Dojcinovic for calling him “the accused drug lord” in a report covering the trial, KRIK said on Nov. 2.
In the lawsuit, Koluvija, the owner of company Jovanjica, on which farms a large quantities of drugs had been discovered, claims that KRIK has violated the presumption of innocence and that he is not the owner of the marijuana farm and seeks RSD400,000 in damages for his mental anguish.
“Predrag Koluvija has not been accused of being ‘a drug lord,’ the Criminal Code does not contain this criminal offense, and no one has the right to call him a drug lord before a final verdict is handed down. Such claims incite hate against the plaintiff (Koluvija),” it is said in the lawsuit.
Dojcinovic said that KRIK respected all professional standards of journalism, noting that Koluvija could bring more cases against KRIK to exert additional pressure on the portal. The news titled “First hearing Scheduled in Jovanjica 2 case,” over which Koluvija has sued KRIK, was published in mid-April this year. Dojcinovic said that the deadline for bringing a case in a court of law was six months from publishing an article.
“After this one, we have published a series of other reports about Koluvija and I assume that he will sue KRIK over them as well. This way Koluvija exerts pressure on our portal in what is probably his attempt to make us discontinue reporting on and further investigation into the Jovanjica case,” the KRIK editor said.