Court rules in favour of journalist who sued a company for lynching campaign

Source/Author: Association of Journalist of Kosovo

PRISTINA, 03.01.2018 – Association of Journalist of Kosovo hails the verdict of the Basic Court in Peja that ruled in favour of journalist Berat Buzhala related to his lawsuit against the company “Devolli Corporation”.

According to verdict, the court partially recognised the compensation of Buzhala’s defence team that was asking for client’s suffers an amount of 200.000 euro. The court stated that the company has to pay a monetary compensation of 15.000 euro to journalist Buzhala because of the publicly insulting campaign against him in 2015.

A photo of a donkey, word “Buzha’l” with text below written “Food for animals” – was advertised with billboards in town of Peja. At the time, the company was accused by media in Kosovo that they were importing food for animals and then selling it the same for humans. The company chose gazeta express portal, where Buzhala is director, to publish billboards mocking names of Buzhala and another media owner too.

AJK encourages other courts to treat all cases related to journalists within legal timeframe. We consider that the processing and resolution of these cases by the judiciary directly affects the creation of a more secure environment in the daily work of journalists and the increase of professionalism of the media.

The Association of Journalists of Kosovo calls on journalists and other media professionals involved in judicial disputes, disputes that directly relate to their professional work to inform AJK, so that this organization can monitor and report closely on these litigation.