Croatian Journalists Association (HND) president Sasa Lekovic said on Saturday that the "non-existent" HND Corps of Internet Journalists was using lies to attack the HND and put itself "in the service of a government which wants to stamp out freedom of expression."
Lekovic was responding to a press release in which the said Corps supported Culture Minister Zlatko Hasanbegovic's decision on Friday to dissolve the Non-Profit Media Commission.
He said in a press release that under the HND Statute, the HND Corps of Internet Journalists did not even exist and that several journalists from a number of web portals decided, before last year's HND Assembly, to establish said Corps and elected Tomislav Galovic as their representative at an electoral HND Assembly.
"For the establishment of the Corps to be valid, it needs to be approved by the HND Main Committee, the very body which the Corps of Internet Journalists is appealing to so that Galovic could prove that I have ideologically and politically affiliated the HND," Lekovic said, adding that the HND Main Committee did not approve the Corps because of suspicion that the HND Statute was not respected in the attempt to establish it.
Lekovic refuted the Corps' allegation, made earlier on Saturday, that his statement about how Hasanbegovic dissolved the Non-Profit Media Commission affiliated the HND ideologically and politically. He said the minister dissolved the Commission without analysing its performance and by falsely claiming that its job was over anyway.
Lekovic also refuted the Corps of Internet Journalists' allegation that he was familiar with the fact that some members of the Commission were proven to be in conflict of interest.