21 Apr 15
Popovic Wins Case Against Montenegro Rights Activist
A Montenegrin court has found MANS chief Vanja Calovic guilty of defaming former Serbian official Vladimir ‘Beba’ Popovic – and has ordered her to pay a fine.
The Basic Court in Podgorica on Monday found Calovic, director of the well-known Montenegrin watchdog group MANS, guilty of defamation because she had “wrongfully accused” Vladimir “Beba” Popovic of faking a video that prompted bestiality claims.
The court ruled that she had violated Popovic’s “reputation and honour” and would have to pay the cost of the judicial process, which was around 500 euros.
The former chief of the Serbian government’s information bureau sued her last July, after a series of articles appeared in the Montenegrin edition of the Belgrade-based tabloid Informer accusing her of bestiality.
Calovic, a prominent critic of the Montenegrin government, accused Popovic of being responsible for a video posted on the internet that led to the accusations printed in Informer.
Images from the video, which purported to show her having sex with dogs, were published in June in the tabloid.
Calovic denounced the video as a fake and went on to accuse Popovic of being responsible for a “montage”.
Popovic denied having played any role in the campaign conducted against Calovic in the pages of Informer, but added that he would be happy to share the video on the internet “whenever I have the chance”.
On Monday, Calovic’s legal representative, Veselin Radulovic, announced an appeal against what he called a “shameful” verdict.
“This verdict is a reason for every honest citizen in the country to be ashamed of the Montenegrin judiciary ,” Radulovic told the media.
He said the judgment further confirmed that a “dirty campaign” had been waged against MANS, just because it exposed corruption and crime in Montenegro.
Popovic was the information chief for the Serbian government and in 2013 founded his own NGO in Montenegro and in Serbia.
However, critics says he acts as an informal media adviser to Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic and to Serbian premier Aleksandar Vucic – and that he has been behind media attacks on the opponents of both leaders.
Source: Balkan Insight (Montenegro)