BIRN journalist Aleksandra Bogdani has argued that businessman Mirel Mërtiri is trying to intimidate journalists with his SLAPP case against BIRN over her article about Albania’s controversial incinerators.
Bogdani said the investigation she co-authored is solidly and fully based on facts, and that the businessman is just trying to censor the truth for the public by requesting the court to remove the investigation from the internet and press.
“Everyone has the right to contest a published article or facts, but we believe that [the lawsuit] is intended to censor the truth, to censor the facts that are published there, and surely to intimidate journalists. Because this is not the first lawsuit that Mr. Mërtiri files against the media – there are several lawsuits in a row – against other media also whenever his name is mentioned […] we believe that the whole article is based on official facts and human sources. We stand by the investigation and are ready to face the court,” the journalists told EuroNews on Thursday.
Mirel Mërtiri sued BIRN in a Tirana court seeking compensation for non-pecuniary and existential damage.
The lawsuit came after a BIRN investigative article was published about incinerators, which Mërtiri requests to be removed.
The investigation argues that the same person is connected in different ways with concession contracts of the three garbage incinerators in Albania which cost millions in public money every year.