Vienna, 13 June 2017 - The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) was dismayed to learn that a judge and member of the High Council of Justice in Albania pressed defamation charges against several journalists and two media outlets in the country.
A judge within Tirana's Appeals Court, filed charges after various media outlets reported on a recent probe of his assets, launched by a prosecutor. Charges were made against the investigative network BIRN Albanian (Balkan Investigative Reporting Network), daily Shqiptarja.com, as well as journalists Besar Likmeta and Aleksandra Bogdani.
Limeta and Bogdani are internatiional known for professional reporting.
The entirety of the financial fine sums up to around 82,000 EUR. Journalists fear that because of the judge position within the Albanian legal system and his political relationships, they stand little to no chance of proving their innocence.
SEEMO is a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in South, East and Central Europe and its press freedom work is supported by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) project, as part of a grant by the European Commission.