A Belgrade court ordered Pressonline.rs (Online Media Solutions doo Beograd) to pay a fine of 120,000 Dinars for offending N1 journalist Adam Santovac in an article published in 2019.
The Higher Court ruled that Online Media Solutions damaged the reputation of the N1 reporter in articles titled Adam Santovac – The Biggest Liar Among Journalists on November 24, 2019 and Adam Santovac Liar on November 27, 2019. The articles were published prior to and just after the airing of Santovac’s documentary Mega Graduate which investigated the validity of Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic’s university diploma.
The court ruled that Santovac’s rights, honor and reputation were harmed because the information in both articles was not true and was insulting because it presented him in a very negative context. “Portraying the plaintiff in that way cannot be justified with freedom of expression nor the public interest,” the ruling said.
Online Media Solutions doo Beograd also has to pay court costs
Santovac sued Pressonline.rs in May 2020. The ruling was made in June 2022. Pressonline.rs received two public warnings from the Press Council in 2020 for multiple violations of the Serbian journalists code in stories about the N1 journalist. The portal has been shut down in the meantime.
The author of the Mega Graduate documentary was not sued and none of the claims made in it were denied.