Slovak weekly publishes record-long court-ordered apology over 54 pages
Bratislava, March 27 (ČTK) — The popular Slovak weekly Plus 7 dní out today published a record-long apology that runs 54 pages, half of its total volume, for releasing untrue information about a former lawmaker’s business activities, in compliance with a court verdict.
Furthermore, the weekly has had to pay compensation of 55,300 euros to the former politician and his firm.
In 2009, Plus 7 dní wrote that Stefan Zelník, the then-MP for the governing Slovak National Party (SNS), might have used his political contacts to gain 1.65 million euros’ worth of EU subsidies for his private firm Žilpo.
The article also mentioned another businessman’s alleged statement that he had information about Zelník’s pedophilia.
The weekly lost a lawsuit Zelník filed against it.
The court ordered it to publish the controversial article along with an apology published in its entirety in letters as big as the headline of the original article.
“The court decision to publish the apology in the form we’ve been obliged to amounts to a mockery on the part of our judiciary. While the challenged article took up 2.5 pages in the magazine, the apology took up an unbelievable 54 pages,” Plus 7 dní Editor-in-Chief Miloš Luknár said.
Zelník said he did not expect such an extensive apology.
“I only wanted it to be published in the same form and in the same place as the original article,” he told the Aktuálne.sk server.
Plus 7 dní says the form of the apology was proposed by Zelník’s defense counsel, and the court complied with her request.
Luknár also criticized what he called an excessive amount of compensation the weekly has to pay. He said it many times exceeds the compensation sums that are paid for a human life or to violent crime victims.