The verdict, which acquitted journalist Marek Přibil of accusation of defamation of former Minister of the Interior Milan Chovanec and police investigator Pavel Nevtípil, is final. It follows from the Infosoud database. The public prosecutor originally kept the deadline for lodging an appeal, but did not use it. Nail faced charges against publishing an article claiming that the inmate was influencing the Stork’s Nest grant case in which Prime Minister Andrej Babis (YES) is facing charges.
Nail posted on his website ppmagazin.com a text claiming that Chovanec was interfering in the investigation of the Stork’s Nest case in an effort to reduce or eliminate political competition for the CSSD. The article was based on the testimony of four investigators, which was mediated to Přibil by Petra Lhotáková from the Trade Union Alliance of the Integrated Rescue System.
Prosecutor Tomáš Saňa stated in the indictment that the text was untrue and that he was capable of endangering the inmates of Chovanc and Nevtípil’s fellow citizens and also damaging them in their employment. He asked for a three-month condition for Přibil with an annual probationary period and a fine of about 20,000 crowns. The journalist defended himself by saying that he was not the author of the article and that he only commented on and supplemented the text. According to him, it has also not been established that the facts set out in the article were untrue.
The District Court for Prague 4 concluded last November that the act was not a criminal offense. Defamation requires deliberate action that has not been proven. According to the judge, Přibil could have assumed that the information in the article was true. The court also stated that the social harmfulness of the offense is low for the case to be heard in criminal proceedings. For the slander spread via the Internet, Přibil was threatened with up to two years in prison or even a ban on his activities.
In the past, Přibil worked in Mladá fronta Dnes belonging to the Agrofert holding, which was owned by Babiš, before he transferred it to trust funds. The journalist appears in recordings that previously appeared on the twitter account of Julius Šuman. On the record, he talked to Babiš about publishing compromising materials on the CSSD and ODS.
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