N1 reporter Jelena Zoric has been threatened by a lawyer over her reporting on the case of the Jovanjica marijuana farm.
Lawyer Svetislav Bojic approached Zoric in front of the Special Court Section for organized crime in Belgrade on December 28 saying that his client Predrag Koluvija told him that she was “destroying him with her reporting” but that he was praying for her just as he was praying for the prosecutor and the police officer who arrested him. Koluvija is on trial charged with heading an organized crime group which produced and sold 1.6 tons of marijuana on an organic food farm which was visited by several state officials.
Bojic also told Zoric that “whoever fell foul of Predrag” didn’t end up well.
A day later, Bojic approached Zoric again and said his client told him to say hello.
Zoric reported the threats to the Working Group for the safety of journalists which immediately launched proceedings and following consultations with its head Veran Matic and the Committee for the Safety of Journalists, and the police the incidents were reported to the Criminal Police Department which handed charges to the prosecution.
Zoric said that she is especially worried by the words of the lawyer that the “she was on the list of Koluvija’s prayers”.
N1 TV will send a request to the Serbian and Belgrade Bar Associations to investigate if relaying obviously threatening messages to journalists by lawyers is in line with the ethical code. If the relevant state bodies and ethics committees in the bar associations feel that this is inappropriate behavior, N1 will call both bar associations to permanently ban lawyer Svetislav Bojic from practicing the law. In the meantime, we expect both bar associations to temporarily suspendd Bojic’s license to practice pending a final decision.