A Belgrade appeals court overturned the ruling of a lower court which sentenced a former Serbian ruling party official for ordering the torching of the home of an investigative journalist.
Former Grocka municipal Mayor Dragoljub Simonovic (a ranking official of the Serbian Progressive Party – SNS) was sentenced to more than four years in prison for ordering the late night arson attack on the home of Zig Info portal journalist Milan Jovanovic following investigative reports about dubious financial dealings by the local authorities. Jovanovic’s house burned down and he and his wife just barely managed to get out during the December 12, 2018 attack. Shots were also fired at their front door.
Jovanovic told N1 that the Appeals Court ordered a retrial.
The Appeals Court said that the defense appeal was based on the fact that the published ruling differed to the written ruling because it did not include the reasons behind the court’s findings. Jovanovic told N1 that his lawyers told him that the Appeals Court ruling was based on a technicality and procedural error.