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Montenegrin Journalist Given Prison Term For Libel


Petar Komnenic is an editor with Podgorica-based TV Vijesti and also works as a stringer for RFE/RL and Reuters.

Petar Komnenic is an editor with Podgorica-based TV Vijesti and also works as a stringer for RFE/RL and Reuters.

PODGORICA -- A court in Montenegro has ordered a journalist to serve four months in prison for libel.

Petar Komnenic, who had alleged that authorities in Montenegro placed a number of senior judges under illegal surveillance, was convicted of libel in February 2011 and ordered to pay a fine or serve four months in jail.

Komnenic refused to pay the fine and appealed to a higher court, which ruled he should serve community service rather than a prison sentence.

But the Podgorica magistrate on April 18 reinstated the prison term.

Komnenic is an editor with Podgorica-based TV Vijesti and also works as a stringer for RFE/RL and Reuters.

The European Union has expressed concerns over the case.

Montenegro is scheduled to start EU accession talks in June this year.

With additional reporting from Reuters
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