The Municipal Civil Court in Zagreb issued a verdict by which Večernji list to former President Stjepan Mesić has to pay 25.000 kuna for breach of honor and reputation after the publication of the text entitled "Sanader, Perković, Mesic - Three Intertwined Stories on Croatia" published in October 2013. in which, among other things, Mesić is suspected of being 2007. from the manager of Finnish Patria took the bribe for the purchase of military vehicles.
As stated in Mesić's lawsuit, Nine Raspudić's author of the texts of the author of Nine Raspudić is unintentionally claiming intentionally and intentionally to defame him as a person, to grossly violate his honor and reputation, to be disillusioned and morally discredit in the wider public and concluding - appears as a criminal, or a person who is not in accordance with the law.
"As far as I am concerned, in this article other than my name, everything else is a lie, a lie," Mesic said when questioned in this procedure, adding that this article influenced his relations with representatives of foreign states as well as relations with representatives of various institution because everyone, as he pointed out, had to explain that there was no corruption on his part, nor could he even come to it.
Mesic also recalled that as a president he did not take part in arms procurement decisions and that after the outbreak of the affair, Patria sought a statement from the Finnish State Attorney's Office and received the answer that he had never been suspected in that affair, nor in any proceedings before the Croatian State Attorney's Office.
"My target for the lawsuit in this case is that I remind you that I should not write falsehoods. If the head of state is accused of corruption, there must be solid evidence for that, "Mesic said. He also added that the disclosure of the denial in this case was insufficient because "the disclosure of this article acted as if you had cleared the pillow on 13. floor, and denial is like collecting feathers. "
The author of the controversial text, Nino Raspudić, is of the disagreeable information that Mesic "is suspected of arranging and taking bribes with three of the three Patrias managers through the mediator," said that here it is only about half a sentence, and if the text is viewed as a whole, it is clear that he does not make a categorical claim, but that he transfers information that at that time Slovenian and Croatian media claimed that Mesić was under investigation.
Raspudić also emphasized that it was a column, the type of text in which the author puts personal opinions, attitudes, and judgments about the events.
"It is not unusual for columnists to write before they write the people in the column that mention and check all the information about these people," said Raspudić. He also said he had no need to completely doubt the media who had previously published that information.
"I therefore allow the prosecutor not to be investigated in the affair of Patria, which comes from my text," said Raspudić.
The Court stated in the verdict that Raspudic's testimony was partly illogical, for he alleged that he did not give a categorical claim on the plaintiff as a suspect, and the court found the opposite of the part of the disputed article by analyzing it. Furthermore, the Court found from its testimony that it was not verified at all by the truthfulness of the disputed data published in other media, "but it is the same without verification of the truth, without seeking a statement from the plaintiff and without a special fence (for example, to the plaintiff from other media, but to verify the truthfulness of those data was not transmitted in his article ".
The judgment also reminds us of the "basic rule of journalistic profession" which states that "what information is collected more harmful, their checking before disclosure of information must be rigorous".
Since Vecernji List was one of the most read in Croatia, it was agreed that Mesić should pay a fair monetary compensation from 25.000 kuna.