Kosovo newspaper fined for naming Serb 'war criminals'

PRISTINA, Jul 22, 2000 -- (AFP) An Albanian-language newspaper was fined 25,000 German marks (11,880 dollars, 12,780 euros) for publishing the names, addresses and photos of people it described as Serbian war criminals, a UN Spokesman said Friday.

The daily, Dita, has already been sanctioned for similar acts, and in June was closed down for ten days after a UN worker, Petar Topoljski, was kidnapped and murdered following the newspaper's identification of him as a former member of paramilitary Serb forces.

In July it was forced to publish a letter in right of reply from a Serb it had accused of war crimes.

"Despite two letters of warning, Dita published personal details which could put in danger the lives or security of the individuals concerned," said a statement issued by United Nations media commissioner in Kosovo, Douglas Davidson, who ordered the fine.

Dita was given until July 25 to pay the fine or face temporary closure, added Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) spokesman Roland Bless at a press conference here Friday.

Two other Albanian-language publications, the daily newspaper Rilindja and a women's magazine, Kosovarja, were given warnings by the UN administration for having published details which endangered people's lives.

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