Dismissed lawsuit filed by Mislav Stipić against former HND vice-presidents Branko Mijić and Goran Gazdek

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Source/Author: CJA
Source/Photo: Canva

Municipal Criminal Court in Zagreb has dismissed Mislav Stipić’s lawsuit against two former vice presidents of the Croatian Journalists’ Association (CJA), now members of the Executive Board of the CJA, Branko Mijić and Goran Gazdek. The dismissal of the lawsuit, as stated in the Court’s decision, occurred after Stipić withdrew the lawsuit prior to the commencement of the proceedings.

“When the top executives of HRT (Croatian Radiotelevision) withdraw their lawsuits against journalists and the CJA, which has been their favorite sport all these years, then either they feel insecure about the potential loss of the case or someone suggested it to them, wanting to maintain their comfortable positions at Prisavlje. The fact that after Stipić (Gazdek and I, who as vice presidents signed the statement of the CJA) the former CEO of HRT Kazimir Bačić sued us for the same thing indicates a coordinated action. I hope that the trial against the two of us will coincide with the trial of Kazimir Bačić, suspected of giving a 50,000 euro bribe to Mayor Bandić, so that I can follow that process live, just like the cameras of HRT, for the entire Croatia to understand and see to whom HDZ (Croatian Democratic Union) and AP (Alliance of Primorje-Gorski Kotar) handed over the management of the public television we pay a monthly subscription for,” commented Branko Mijić on the verdict.

Recall that Mislav Stipić, who still works at HRT, privately sued the vice presidents of the Croatian Journalists’ Association, Branko Mijić and Goran Gazdek, for the criminal offense of defamation.

Stipić sued the two vice presidents of the CJA, represented by lawyer Vanja Jurić, because of an article, or a statement published on March 12, 2021, on the HND portal under the title “Bačić’s persecution of the top officials of the CJA and the Journalists’ Union of Croatia is a new blow to media freedom,” signed by Mijić and Gazdek as vice presidents of the CJA.

In the statement of the CJA, Stipić, who was a prominent figure at the time when Kazimir Bačić, CEO of HRT, was accused of bribery and trading influence, was bothered by the allegations that “the CEO of the state television is obviously a target for elimination for all those who dared to publicly speak out about serious allegations of sexual harassment and mobbing made against the CEO of the Business Unit of HRT, Mislav Stipić, by an employee (and then confirmed by two more people). Bačić tried to cover up the allegations, only to later absolve his close associate Stipić of any guilt like a magnate.”

As Goran Gazdek emphasized in the end, he is pleased that Mr. Stipić finally realized that this case could not be won because there was nothing in their statements and positions that did not correspond to the facts. – This spared himself, and especially us, from unnecessary waste of time in court, which was actually the goal of this classic SLAPP lawsuit, Gazdek concluded.