Serb court shuts independent newspaper press

BELGRADE, Jan 30, 2000 -- (Reuters) Serbian authorities have shut down the firm that prints the independent daily newspaper Glas Javnosti, company manager Slavoljub Kacarevic said on Saturday.

Kacarevic, head of ABC Grafika, told Reuters the closure came after a Belgrade court appointed a receiver to take over the company.

But the move would not affect production of the newspaper, he added, which had another printing press available.

The Serbian Information Ministry said on Friday the receiver had been appointed after the court had rejected the company's proposals for paying its creditors, Beta news agency said.

ABC Grafika has often been fined under the controversial Serbian information law mostly for printing Glas Javnosti. The company's total debt exceeded 82.5 million dinars ($7 million), the agency said.

The company came under pressure during September-December 1999 street protests against Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic for printing the organizers' daily leaflets.

In December last year, the authorities seized some ABC Grafika equipment to cover fines and blocked its bank account on the grounds that the company had not paid taxes and social contributions.