Organizations Hope for Animals – Riska, Link Plus and Feniks have announced today that they have been unpleasently surprised by the news that the retired professor Mirjana Janković from Belgrade, will be fined with 200.000 Serbian dinars – cca. 1623 euros - for „insulting judge of the High Judgiciary Council, Ivan Jovičić, in the park“.
As news have reported, the verbal conflict occured over mrs. Janković's dog, who aproched a stroller with judge Jovičić's child. Mr. Jovičić made insulting remarks regarding the dog, after what mrs. Janković had insulted Mr. Jovičić.
Organizatons announced that they have been surprised by the court desicion, considering that Serbian authorities often ignore charges of animal abuse and breaking the Animal Welfare Act, and also reports of abandonments of dogs and cats (which is a daily occurence in Belgrade). Reports of such kind are often dropped (and always when perpetrators are actually officials), or the perpetrators get symbolic fines. So it is interesting that a verbal conflict over a dog of two citizens can result in such a drastic fine. Even more interesting so because the „victim“ is a judge.
Disproportionately large fine for a retired professor (the average pension in Serbia is around 200 euros, which makes the fine 8 times larger than one month's average pension), coupled with simbolic fines or dropping charges all together for cases of animal abuse, speak about the nesessity to educate and sensibilize judges to problems regarding animal welfare and felonies such as animal abuse.
We consider that mrs. Janković should also sue judge Jovičić, since there is a legal ground to do so – by saying insults about the dog, Jovičić insulted his owner also.