The Public Prosecution office in Skopje submitted an indictment against Dragan Pavlovic – Latas and Stefan Lazarov for spreading racist and xenophobic material via an information system.
Without specifying their names, the Public Prosecution informed that two persons were accused of spreading racist and xenophobic material via an information system through an idea that promoted violence against women thereby causing reactions and feelings of public distress and harassment.
The prosecutor’s office released a statement in which it states information that makes it obvious that the two indicted are in fact, former editor of a national TV station “Sitel”, Dragan Pavlovic – Latas and a famous local youtuber, Stefan Lazarov.
“In an interview published as a podcast on a YouTube channel on 14th February, the first indicted publicly promoted an act of sexual harassment by reminiscing memories from his alleged past, without expressing a moral condemnation or remorse, thereby fully aware that he was promoting violent behaviour”, the Prosecution stated.
As they explain, the video was aired live on a YouTube channel owned by the second person who’s indicted who “although was aware of the influence of the broadcasted content among young people, did not prevent, nor stop his guest”.
“Instead, he additionally led him with his comments and questions to talk about the disputed event”, the Prosecution further states.
For the criminal offense of Spreading racist and xenophobic material, the Macedonian Criminal Act predicts a sentence of one to five years of imprisonment.
The Prosecution also informed that the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) secured the podcast and all the evidence that substantiates the criminal offense.
Since there is a risk of escape, the Public Prosecution proposed to the Basic Criminal Court – Skopje to impose precautionary measures for Latas by temporarily confiscating his travel or other document for crossing the state border.
Apart from this, for both of the indicted, the Prosecutor proposes prohibition of public appearance.
In the last two days, the disputed podcast published on Stefan Lazarov’s YouTube channel provoked furious public reactions, including the response of the Helsinki Committee on Human Rights and other civil society organizations and associations.
The video from the podcast is currently not available for viewing on YouTube.