ANEM WEEKLY MEDIA UPDATE
NOVEMBER 3 - NOVEMBER 9, 2001
PODGORICA, November 5, 2001 The trial of the former
editor-in-chief of Podgorica daily Dan has been postponed after defence counsel
requested the presiding judge Miladin Pejovic be exempted, alleging political
Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic has filed private
charges against Vladislav Asanin over claims printed in the daily concerning the
Balkan cigarette smuggling scandal.
Submitting the request, defence lawyer Dragan Garic claimed
Pejovic was a friend of the president of the Podgorica preliminary court Milic
Medojevic, who previously sentenced Asanin to five months in prison on similar
charges filed by controversial businessman Stanko “Cane” Subotic.
Garic said that according to his findings, Pejovic and
Medojevic were members of the same political group for which they had attended
Pejovic rejected the claims and Djukanovic’s lawyer
labeled the initiative as yet another attempt “to undermine these court
Medojevic himself will rule on the request.
Commenting on the charges against him, Vladislav Asanin
said he had been accused of having a “personal motive and personal intention
to insult Milo Djukanovic.”
Asanin said he had nothing personal against the Montenegrin
president, insisting he had merely been doing his job, “professionally and
KRAGUJEVAC, November 5, 2001 Goran Kojovic, co-owner of
Kragujevac Television Channel 9 interrupted a live-show on Friday night and,
according to co-owner Svetislav Obradovic, exposed himself to guests and staff.
Kojovic is also owner of ‘Jezero’, one of a number of
companies facing the excess profit tax introduced by the current authorities
against Milosevic-era profiteers.
According to Obradovic, Kojovic, obviously drunk, harassed
guests and employees during the outburst.
Obradovic, majority shareholder in the station, offered to
buy Kojovic’s share in the company in May. It now appears they will be looking
for a court division of property following the events of Friday.
Most of the employees of Radio Television Kanal 9 apologize
to their audience for the suspension of the program and clearly distance
themselves from conflicts within the management.
PODGORICA, November 5, 2001 Montenegrin President Milo
Djukanovic has rejected claims that journalists are being persecuted in
He also denied that state security groups are planning to
assassinate Ivo Pukanic, director of Nacional, the Zagreb weekly responsible for
a number of controversial claims concerning a Balkan cigarette-smuggling ring.
Oliver Vujovic, head of the Media organization for
Southeast Europe, recently called for the protection of journalists inside and
outside Montenegro whose lives are in jeopardy due to their reports on the
Djukanovic said the alarm had been caused by “a flood of
misinformation and political speculation”.
The president said he had held “consultations” with his
interior minister and state security chief, and that the claims were
“completely denied in a note sent by the interior minister”.
Djukanovic wrote to Vujovic requesting all information on
the alleged assassination plans so the “authorised bodies” can take any
He emphasised that his own suit against the former editor
of Podgorica daily Dan “cannot be interpreted as a case of harassment of
PODGORICA, November 5, 2001 Miodrag Vucinic has been
appointed director of Radio Television Montenegro.
The managing board emphasised the need to transform RTV
Montenegro into a public company as soon as possible.
BELGRADE, November 5, 2001 Tanjug correspondent Vojislav
Lalic has been awarded the news agency’s lifetime achievement award.
Lalic has worked for Tanjug for over thirty years.
He was presented with the award for “day and night,
efficient, comprehensive and exclusive reporting on the crisis and other events
Home affairs correspondent Vera Raskov-Djurovic, Tanjug’s
correspondent from Krusevac Dejan Miljkovic, Biljana Bjelakovic of the foreign
affairs desk and culture columnist Vera Kondev also received awards.
WASHINGTON, November 7, 2001 Serbian Prime Minister
Zoran Djindjic has lashed out at criticism of his government’s failure to
bring order to Serbia’s catastrophic media situation, describing the question
of Serbia’s independent media as “irritating”.
Speaking at the Institute for Peace in Washington, Djindjic
replied to a question on why B92 and the Association of Independent Electronic
Broadcasters had not been granted a frequency license by saying that the station
was operating illegally.
“If someone was highly courageous during the Milosevic
era, we'll give them a medal, but not a television channel,” he said. “Some
people want privileges. They don’t want new legislation, they want a licence
in order to become a national television channel, although at this point they
have a television channel without a licence,” said the prime minister.
Djindjic defended his government’s record on the media,
saying that one of its first measures had been to repeal of the notorious Public
Information Act and pay compensation to newspapers for fines paid under it.
The new government had inherited a chaotic situation in the
electronic media with about seven hundred private broadcasters, he said, adding
that the decision had been made to live with the status quo until the
Independent Association of Serbian Journalists had prepared draft legislation of
rationalise the situation. Thus, said the prime minister, nobody would be denied
a licence in the meantime, but nor would any new licences be issued.
Djindjic also defended the new authorities against unstated
allegations of influencing the media. “We have no legal basis for putting
pressure on the independent media, nor the media in Serbia in general. We’re
not paying them, nor do we have legislation under which we could act against the
media in any way. All his government was doing, said the prime minister, was not
granting privileges to certain media. “Some of them are our friends, but we
have a new system in Serbia now which we want to use for offering equal access
to national resources to everyone.”
BELGRADE, November 7, 2001 The editor-in-chief of BK
Television, Milomir Maric has been fined eight thousand dinars by the Belgrade
District Court for the unauthorised publication of passages from a book by
A statement from Petrusic’s lawyer said that, as director
and editor of Profil magazine, Maric published in December 1997 excerpts from
the book “Failing to Speak up is also a Crime, World War III has begun”.
Maric will also face criminal charges over the issue.
BELGRADE, November 8, 2001 The release of an identikit
picture of the killer of publisher Slavko Curuvija is just another farce from
the Counterintelligence Service and State Security, Curuvija’s brother said
“The identikit was made a year ago in the police station
in November 29 St. Why is it being published only now? Since [Interior
Minister Dusan] Mihajlovic and the police chiefs are incapable of bringing those
who ordered and committed the crime to court, they should hire experts from
Scotland Yard or the FBI. They would have the courage to ask Mira
Markovic, Rade Markovic, Vlajko Stojiljkovic and Nebojsa Pavkovic whether they
perhaps know who killed Slavko. They won’t hesitate because they
weren’t servants of the former regime like the incumbent minister and his
generals,” said Jovo Curuvija.
Slavko Curuvija’s widow, Branka Prpa, declined to comment
on the publication of the identikit, citing her status as a witness in the case.
“I hope the investigation will yield some significant results,” she said.
NOVI SAD, November 8, 2001 -- The dismissed acting director
of the Novi Sad branch of the Radio Television Serbia Aleksandar Kravic tore
today the decision of the Television Novi Sad Program Board of editors that had
arrived from the Radio Television Serbia main Belgrade office.
Kravic told media that he believes this decision to be
"worthless" because it was signed by the Radio Television Serbia
general director Aleksandar Crkvenjakov.
"I was appointed director by the Vojvodina Parliament
which is the only one that can relieve me of duty. I tore those papers fully
aware of what I was doing. So far I have tried to be civilized and well-mannered,
but it seems that the only way to fight force is to apply force", said
He added that the decisions from Belgrade have a political
background and that they are "just further pressure of the Belgrade
politics of centralism".
BELGRADE, Thursday The Association of Independent
Serbian Journalists today lashed out at Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic over his
remark in Washington on Tuesday that he was “irritated” by complaints about
the status of independent media.
In reply to a question about his government’s failure to
regularise the licence status of B92 and its fellow ANEM stations, the prime
minister said that media who had shown bravery under the Milosevic regime could
have medals, not channels.
The journalist association today recommended that Djindjic
instead give medals to those media which were obedient to every regime,
including his own.
“Accusing RTV B92 and the independent media in Serbia of
wanting media legislation in order to secure privileges for themselves is, to
say the least, improper because media which built their empires through
cooperation with Milosevic will still privileged and were now strengthening
their positions with the assistance of the new authorities,” said the
association in a statement.
The association called for the tabling of draft
broadcasting legislation in the Parliament as soon as possible “so that the
stories and promises of democratisation of media may become a reality”.
BELGRADE, November 9, 2001 The governing DOS
coalition’s Parliamentary head, Cedomir Jovanovic, is reported to have told
journalists that he would see to it that media legislation would be passed which
would provide for a five million Deutschmark fine for publishing false
Belgrade daily Blic writes that Jovanovic’s remarks came
in a conversation with journalists in which he expressed his irritation with
reports that he had been involved in a car accident on the Batajnica Road,
despite not having been on the road in the past three years.
He allegedly added that, because no newspapers would have
the money to pay the new fines, they would be closed down.
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