N1 TV and Danas daily reporters walked out of a news conference by a pro-regime tabloid editor after being verbally assaulted.
Informer tabloid owner and editor in chief Dragan J. Vucicevic called the news conference to say that he is going to serve a six month jail sentence after refusing to pay damages awarded by a court to journalist and former N1 TV chief Jugoslav Cosic for offensive remarks on Twitter. Vucicevic has been saying for days that this amounts to a verbal crime but law experts have said that the only reason the court ordered him to jail is because he refuses to pay the fine, adding that if he does pay it he won’t have to serve time.
The event ended with a verbal exchange between analyst Istva Kaic and the N1 TV and Danas reporters over their editorial policies ending with the reporters walking out.
Insults at the N1 reporter were also hurled by Simo Spasic, the head of an organization of families of missing Kosovo Serbs and a convicted rapist know for his support to the Serbian authorities. Spasic made an offensive remark when the N1 reporter asked a question.
Vucicevic told the news conference that he would start a hunger strike as soon as he reports to jail on Monday to demand a review of his case and the decriminalization of insults. He said that Serbian courts do not pass judgments based on the law but on politics.
According to the N1 reporter, the majority of the people at the news conference were Informer staff who also made offensive remarks about media critical of the authorities.