10 Apr 15
Montenegrin Prva TV Sues Vijesti Over ‘Lies’
The Podgorica-based Prva TV has announced a lawsuit against the founder of the independent daily newspaper ‘Vijesti’, which is accuses of running a camaign of smears.
The broadcaster on Thursday said it was taking Vijesti to court because the latter’s director, Zeljko Ivanovic, had made false, derogatory statements, which had damaged Prva TV’s reputation and business.
Montenegrin Prva TV, which together with the same-named station in Serbia forms part of the Greek Antenna Group, said Vijesti wanted to destroy its competitors but had “eventually destroyed itself”.
The broadcaster claimed Ivanovic asked the US embassy in Montenegro to pressurise government bodies not to issue an operating permit to Prva TV.
The media outlet, which is close to Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic, said Vijesti’s own TV station had been largely funded with money from Serbia, based on “the political directives of the former Serbian President, Boris Tadic.
“Zeljko Ivanovic’s brutal attacks on our media outlet leave us no choice but not to remain silent any longer,” the broadcaster said in a statement.
Ivanovic told BIRN that he was looking forward to meet representatives of what he called “Djukanovic’s television” in court.
“Especially if their lawsuit is going to be so thoroughly and seriously prepared as their most recent statement,” Ivanovic added, ironically.
Over the past five years, Vijesti has been the victim of a series of attacks on its property and on its journalists. A number of lawsuits have also been filed against it by officials and figures close to Prime Minister Djukanovic.
Pro-government media have accused Vijesti of running a “media lynch campaign against its opponents”, calling it a mouthpiece of the country’s often pro-Serbian opposition parties.
Source: Balkan Insight (Montenegro)