Transfered with permission by Index.hr
DORH making pressure on Index reporter: “Journalists must not be witnesses in affairs!”
Duka: This is making pressure on a journalist to stop his further inquiries about Kamensko affairs DORH should investigate how Kamensko was destroyed
Author: J. Šimac
Published: 02. 12. 2011.
After State Attorney’s Office summoned the Index reporter Ilko Ćimić to question him on how he has obtained information that he based his story about Kamensko on, Croatian Journalists’ Association (CJA) reacted too.
“We in CJA believe that State Attorney’s Office should work on the issues the Index reported Ilko Ćimić wrote about in many of his texts about the Kamensko affair instead of summoning him as a witness because of revealing of official confidential information “, told us the CJA presidentZdenko Duka.
Duka believes that this DORH summons can be qualified as pressure on him to stop investigating the story.
To remind us, as it says in the summons, DORH is charging unknown offenders with the criminal offence of revealing official classified information. Index editorial board thinks of the summons as an act against the media and the threat the purpose of which is to force the journalist to give up any further investigating and publishing of documents on the Kamensko affair and the involvement of Ninoslav Pavić and Ivica Todorić.
Criminal charges have been filed by an “anonymous citizen” through Miroslav Kutles’ attorney.
The Municipality State Attorney’s Office in Zagreb issued a press release today explaining that being summoned to give a testimony is not an act against the media. They claim that criminal charges have been filed with them on November 15, 2011, by Rajko Mlinarić Attorney’s Office by “an anonymous citizen against unknown offenders for criminal offence of revealing official classified information”.
“Since the Municipality State Attorney’s Office in Zagreb has to act according to the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Act and State Attorney’s Office Act, the reporter of the Index.hr portal was summoned as a witness, and not in any other role, which means that this summons cannot be qualified as ‘an act against the media’ and ‘a threat’”.
It needs to be added that the attorney Rajko Mlinarić has represented Miroslav Kutle, who is mentioned as one of the main actors in the Kamensko affair, in several cases.
“In this case, the journalist is no accomplice in revealing official classified information.”
The attorney Emil Havkić, media law specialist, said for Index that, in this case, the journalist is was accomplice in revealing official classified information. “They have the right to summon a journalist as a witness, but he has right to revoke the right to keep professional journalist’s secret. This is why I’m wondering why DORH’s main move is always to summon a reporter. If the reporter is a witness is some case, he is usually summoned in the end. Why bothering to summon someone when that person will refuse to reveal his source of information as after that s/he would be no journalist anymore”, says Havkić.
The attorney, however, says it is always possible that a journalist is summoned to come to DORH for an interview, as s/he has obtained the information official investigators haven’t been able to obtain.
Havkić also told us that it is neither wrong nor unusual that the editorial board should understand this DORH summons as pressure. “Considering how many summons journalists have received lately, there is nothing wrong in understanding this as a pressure. When e.g. representatives of international organizations are summoned, they don’t want to be witnesses as that would endanger their work in the field, as everyone would know they are potential witnesses. The same applies to journalists: if they witness, their profession is endangered.
Investigators’ work is being transferred to journalists, who should be trusted by the general public. If this string of summons for being witnesses continues, this puts them in position where they are taking over the work State institutions should be doing. And if they are going to do it, then their profession is in danger. Journalists must not be counted on as potential witnesses, as this represents violation of the Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights”, says Havkić.
Journalists must not be witnesses in affairs!
Transfered with permission by Index.hr