Veran Matić's statement on lawsuit filed by Luka Bojović

"As the claim does not even dispute what’s been written in the official notes and official documents, this claim can be regarded as direct message to Brankica Stankovic and me as publisher, as a kind of fatwa."


Luka Bojovic has filed claim for damages against Brankica Stankovic, author of the show “Insider” and the book “Insider, my story”. Bojovic had submitted the same lawsuit against Publishing house Samizdat d.o.o. and Veran Matic, as the publisher of this book.

The claim against Brankica Stankovic and Samizdat is submitted due to alleged violation of the honor and reputation of Luka Bojovic, caused by publishing certain claims about him in the book “Insider, my story”. Those claims were, as it is stated in the lawsuit, “allegedly substantiated” by official notes of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Prosecutor’s Office for Organized Crime, that even if those existed, should be treated as confidential, according to Bojovic. With this lawsuit, he claims immaterial damages amounting to RSD 250,000.

It is not disputable that Luka Bojovic, as any other person that considers that his rights are being breached, has the possibility to file a complaint for damages. However, when it comes to the grounds for the complaint, it should be noted that in this particular case, the journalist had published in her book official information according to which she stated her own opinion on the circumstances she faced with from the moment when, after the performed security assessment, she was assigned 24/7 police protection. Moreover, it is very important to mention that from the moment of publishing this book till the present day, not a single state body had disputed any of the contents of the documents to which Brankica Stankovic refers to in her book, which indicates that this claim is, obviously, addressed wrongfully.

Those documents are authentic and are produced by the official institutions in charge for security, so any attempt of denying its contents and authenticity has to be directed towards those institutions who created those documents, based on which the same bodies had made conclusion that the life of journalist Brankica Stankovic is endangered, i.e. that there is great possibility that the attempt of her liquidation will take place. The claim from the lawsuit that those documents should be regarded as confidential is especially absurd, following with the claim that those data should not have been published in public. Findings of the official institutions on the fact that someone’s execution has been planned, especially of a journalist, a public figure, should not stay secret, quite to the contrary – public must be informed about it in a timely manner.

As the claim does not even dispute what’s been written in the official notes and official documents, and as there were no attempts of disputing the facts from the notes, this claim can be regarded as direct message to Brankica Stankovic and me as publisher, as a kind of fatwa. For the last several days and months, there are a series of murders that took place both in Serbia and Montenegro that are connected with the actor of this suit, his friends and opponents. Due to this, we consider this message as yet another potential targeting of the author of Insider, and I believe that an additional professional solidarity is necessary in this case, that the journalists should finally become aware that something similar might happen to them in future.

It is rather ironic that the first stronger reaction to the book that speaks about the danger in which the journalists put themselves in while doing their job professionally, and which undoubtedly increases the level of standards in investigative journalism, is this claim, instead of the support of the profession that almost completely failed in case of such a drastic situation that was depicted in the book of Brankica Stankovic.

I believe that it is crucial that we open a debate on the range of problems journalists face with in our country, which is being spoken of in Brankica Stankovic’s book “Insider, my story”, and that the profession should support most threatened journalists with sending unequivocal request to the competent institutions that the reasons for which for more than five years a series of journalists in Serbia are placed under police protection should be eliminated, as under current circumstances, police protection drastically restricts the freedom of movement, along with undisturbed journalistic work.

B92 report: Insider author reveals she was sued

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