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06.02.2018

Court orders compensation for Kosovar journalist depicted as mule

By Emil Weber

The Basic Court of Peja in Kosovo ordered the powerful Devolli Corporation to compensate a Kosovar journalist by paying him 15.000 euros for moral damages caused by an insulting campaign.

Kosovar flag Kosovar Devolli corporation has to pay 15.000 euros of compensation for insulting a journalist

The 2015 campaign was aimed against Berat Buzhala, a journalist working for the online news platform GazetaExpress.com. At the time the outlet had criticised the corporation for its allegedly unlawful imports of wheat.

Banners with the sign of the Devolli Corporation, one of the biggest in Kosovo, were placed in public venues across the city of Peja. They showed a picture of a mule and a text reading "Buzha’l, food for animals". The words mule and animal are used here to imply stupidity.

Mr. Buzhala sued the Devolli Corporation and its partners Abrazen sh.p.k and Kristal B sh.a asking for 250.000 euros in non-material damages compensation.

The Peja Basic Court ruled on 11 December 2017 partially in favour of the journalist. "The sued parties together will pay the compensation amount for non-material compensation of moral damage caused by placing banners with insulting contents within fifteen days", the ruling read.

Mr. Buzhala’s lawyer, Arianit Koci, announced that they will be appealing the amount of compensation. "However, this decision shows that our judicial system takes care and protects human values such as dignity and personal integrity", Mr. Koci said in a statement.

Both Mr. Koci and Mr. Buzhala said that the compensation would be donated to the department of pediatrics at the central hospital of Kosovo.





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