Verdict against Dragan Markovic Palma is revoked

Belgrade, 19.09.2012.

Court of Apeals revoked the verdict against Dragan Markovic Palma for severe discrimination against LGBT population and sent it back for a new trial

Gay Straight Alliance’s (GSA; Alliance) litigation service received a decision with which the Court of Appeals in Belgrade revokes the Trial Court’s verdict against Dragan Markovic Palma, member of the parliament and president of the “Jedinstvena Srbija” (United Serbia), for severe discrimination against LGBT population and is sending back the subject for a new trial.

Court of Appeals revoked the trial court’s verdict based on the appeal of Markovic’s attorney for the breach of the articles of the litigation process and erroneous application of the substantive law, that is, because it determined that the defendant was not delivered the law suit in a proper manner by the Trial Court and that it was not delivered to him personally or to his attorney, but instead to the member of his household, which is against article 136 of the Law on litigation process. Even though Trial Court determined that the law suit was delivered to Dragan Markovic Palma in a proper manner, the Court of Appeals, after looking into the documentation regarding this case, decided to revoke the verdict and send the case back for a new trial.

Gay Straight Alliance will not renounce from the law suit against Dragan Markovic Palma even after this decision by the Court of Appeals, because it considers this case to be of a strategic importance, as this is the case of the abuse of the most frequent social prejudice and untruth about LGBT individuals-that they are sick. Also, GSA considers that the statements by politicians and officials in public, whether they are in power or in opposition, which contain hate speech, should be severely legally sanctioned considering their responsibility in causing negative influence on broader public.

Just to remind, GSA’s litigation service filed a law suit against Dragan Markovic Palma on August 22, 2011, based on The Law on Prohibition of Discrimination, since different sexual orientation was described by him as illness and something abnormal through mass media, that is, because of the statement he gave to the media on August 15, 2011, when he said that the “position of United Serbia is his personal position-we are against any type of assembly where homosexuals demonstrate on the streets of Belgrade and want to depict something that is illness as normal”. Trial Court accepted the GSA’s law suit, determined that Markovic committed a severe form of discrimination based on sexual orientation, according to articles 11, 12, 13 and 21 of this legislation, and hence forbid him to repeat the committed discrimination.

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