Kňažko seeks €100,000 from Týždeň for libel

Former Bratislava mayoral candidate Milan Kňažko will seek an apology and compensation of €100,000 from W Press, the publisher of the Týždeň weekly, through a lawsuit, Kňažko confirmed January 20. The actor-professor turned politician is suing the magazine over two articles that were written before November’s municipal election by its reporters and released on the magazine’s website. Kňažko particularly takes objection to the statement made by reporter Marek Vagovic, which said he was beholden to oligarch Ivan Kmotrík. “This is an incredible lie ... a despicable intrigue,” Kňažko said, according to the TASR newswire. “As I’m sure you know, the term “biely kôň” [literally white horse] he used to describe me refers to criminals. You need to consider how far freedom of speech goes and where is the line where integrity of someone is impugned by lying and making intrigues.” Kňažko is convinced that such accusations could have influenced the results of the mayoral election in which he ended up third behind Ivo Nesrovnal and the incumbent, Milan Ftáčnik. The mudslinging went on throughout the campaign, Kňažko said. “But this one proved to be the lowest of all low-blow accusations.” “I believed that such lawsuits and crazy compensation amounts were the fixture of [former Supreme Court and Judicial Council chair Štefan] Harabin’s era,” Týždeň Editor Stefan Hríb said. “I also hoped that after having founded the HZDS, Milan Kňažko has developed some common sense. Turns out I was wrong on both accounts.” The chief editor just last week received a fine of €50,000 for slanted coverage of the Cervanová murder case in the episode of his TV show Under the Lamp / Pod lampou broadcast in 2011.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015