Zivkovic Samardzic has successfully represented the B92 media company before the European Court of Human Rights in a dispute against Serbia.
According to the firm, the case at hand originated in an application against Serbia concerning the TV news broadcast and an online article published in 2011, which reported that, in the pre-trial proceedings regarding the procurement of AH1N1 vaccines in 2009, the officers of the Organised Financial Crime Department’s Anti-Corruption Division of the Serbian Criminal Police Directorate had a reason to suspect that the Assistant Minister of Health at the time was involved in the abuses. “According to the TV news broadcast and online article published by B92, the name of the Assistant Minister of Health, along with several others, was omitted from the final criminal complaint that was brought against only three persons. Broadcaster based its reporting on a note filed by the officers of the Anti-Corruption Division informing their superiors on the issue.”
Furhtermore, the firm reported that, “in 2012, the Assistant Minister of Health instituted proceedings against the broadcaster before the Belgrade High Court, seeking compensation for non-pecuniary damage, publication of the court’s judgment, and removal of the two articles from the broadcaster’s Internet portal. The Assistant Minister submitted, in particular, that it was not true that she had been suspected of abuse of office, or of anything else, nor had she been removed from the alleged list of suspects because of illicit influence.”
The Belgrade High Court ruled partly in favor of the Assistant Minister and, in 2014, the Belgrade Court of Appeal upheld the first-instance judgment, In 2016, the Constitutional Court dismissed the broadcaster’s constitutional appeal. The case ultimately ended up before the European Court of Human Rights which, according to Zivkovic Samardzic, “unanimously declared that there had been a violation of Article 10 of the Convention and held that the respondent state (Serbia) is to pay the broadcaster EUR 2,740 in respect of pecuniary damage, EUR 2,500 in respect of non-pecuniary damage and EUR 2,400 in respect of costs and expenses.”
The Zivkovic Samardzic team included Partner Kruna Savovic and Associate Jovan Pjevac.