Predrag Koluvija, who is on trial as the head of a criminal group that produced several tonnes of marijuana on a farm in northern Serbia, has filed a lawsuit against the Crime and Corruption Investigation Network (KRIK) and its editor Stevan Dojcinovic for describing him as 'a narco boss,' the Network has reported on Tuesday.
Koluvija, the owner of the company’ Jovanjica,’ on whose farm marijuana was illegally grown according to the indictment, claimed KRIK violated the presumption of innocence while reporting from the trial, denied being the owner of the plantation and demanded 400,000 dinars (1 euro = 118 dinars) compensation for ’emotional distress.’
„Predrag Koluvija is not accused of being a ‘narco boss; the Criminal Code does not recognise that crime, and no one has the right to describe him like that before the final verdict. Such allegations cause hatred towards Koluvia,“ the lawsuit said.
KRIK’s editor Stevan Dojcinovic said the Network respected all professional standards of journalism, adding Koluvija might file more lawsuits to put pressure on the website.
The report titled ‘Start of Jovanjica 2 Scheduled,’ which Koluvija sued KRIK for, was published in mid-April, Dojcinovic said, adding the deadline for a lawsuit was six months from the publication of the story.
„After that report, we published other news about him, and I guess he will sue us for them as well. That is a pressure Koluvija puts on our website, probably trying to force us to give up further reporting and research of the ‘Jovanjica’ case „, Dojcinovic said.