The Association of European Journalists in Bulgaria (AEJ-Bulgaria) has spoken out publicly condemning the sentencing of one of the members of its Executive Board. Courts in Sofia, Bulgaria, have sentenced journalist Rossen Bossev, from Capital Weekly, to paying 1,000 BGN (500 euros) in fines due to his statements on a TV show.
“The defamation complaint is particularly demonstrative of the way in which state officials are able to use institutions as tools for pressure,” AEJ-Bulgaria says, referring to the lawsuit filed against the journalist by Stoyan Mavrodiev, former chairman of the government’s Financial Supervision Commission (FSC) and current director of the Bulgarian Development Bank.
The journalists’ association adds:
“Even though the libel has not been proven in court, AEJ-Bulgaria is stunned to learn that Bossev has been sentenced for taking part in a television talk show during which he has tried to explain why FSC has imposed a significant fine to the publication he works for. However, the statements made by Bossev are based on facts which the plaintiff didn’t dispute in court.”