Journalists Reprimand Reporter for Lack of Objectivity
BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (AP) _ A Yugoslav reporter who covered the trial of three dissidents was reprimanded by a panel of journalists in Slovenia for what they claimed was his lack of objectivity, a newspaper reported Friday.
The journalists’ ″court of honor″ accused newsman Slobodan Dukic, who wrote for Slovenia’s weekly ″7 D,″ of proclaiming the defendents guilty even before the verdict was announced, the Belgrade weekly Osmica reported.
The panel’s opinion has no legal power.
Before and during the trial, a number of Yugoslav journalists, including Dukic and some political leaders, discredited the defendants, who were accused of spreading ″hostile propaganda.″
Among his reports, Dukic wrote that the dissidents ″belong to a wider circle of a counter-revolutionary group whose spiritual ideological leader is Milovan Djilas,″ Yugoslavia’s leading dissident. Djilas was not tried.
On Feb. 4, a Belgrade court sentenced the three to minimal jail terms of two years, 18 months and 12 months, respectively. Defense attorneys and observers hailedthe ruling as a victory for free speech.
The trial, which began in November, originally charged six with of counter- revolutionary activity and conspiracy to topple the Yugoslav system.
But because of ″lack of evidence,″ the prosecution dropped charges against Pavlusko Imsirovic, and lessened the charges against three others to spreading ″hostile propaganda.″
The three are Nanovic Miodrag Milic, Dragomir Olujic and Milan Nokolic.
The trial of the two remaining dissidents - Vladimir Mijanovic and Gordan Jovankovic - has not been held. They remain accused of hostile activity, which carries a prison term of 5-15 years.
Proceedings against the six dissidents began Nov. 5. They were indicted after holding private gatherings that the prosecution said were illegal and subversive.
The dissidents maintaned they did nothing wrong.