Appelate Court Returns Dragan Marković Palma Case for Retrial24. September 2012 - 12:00 — Dejan Georgievski
The Appellate Court in Belgrade annuled the sentence of the First Basic Court in Belgrade against Dragan Marković Palma, MP and president of United Serbia party and sent the case back to the Basic Court for retrial. Dragan Marković Palma was found guilty of grave discrimination of LGBT population. The Gay Straight Alliance won’t give up its case against Marković.
The Appellate Court ruled to annul the sentence against Marković on grounds of technical violations of legal provisions that regulate proper procedures, i.e. the fact that the sentence wasn’t presented personally to Marković or his legal representative, but to a member of his households, in violation of Article 136 of the Law on Civil Procedure.
The Gay Straight Allinace says, in a statement issued on September 19, after the association's legal team received the Appellate Court ruling, that it won't revoke its charges against Marković. GSA views this case as strategically important because it refers to abuse of most common social prejudice about the LGBT persons that alleges that their gender identity or sexual orientation is a medical condition and illness.
„GSA also believes that public statements of politicians and public officials, whether in Government or in opposition, that contain hate-speech need to be sanctioned severely in view of their responsibility for the negative effects such statements can have on the general public“, GSA states.
GSA’s legal team filed a lawsuit against Marković in August 2011, charging him for violations of Law on Prohibition of Discrimination, for his statements in which he presented, through the media, his view that different sexual orientation was abomination and illness.
On August 15, 2011, Marković told the media that the „position of United Serbia and my personal view is that we are opposed to any gathering in which homosexuals will engage in protest walk along the streets of Belgrade in order to present a sickness as something that is normal“.
The First Basic Court in Belgrade accepted GSA’s charges and ruled, in November 2011, that Marković committed a grave form of discrimination on basis of sexual orientation which violated provisions of articles 11, 12, 13 and 21 of the Law on Prohibition of Discrimination and prohibited Marković from repeating the offense. (Source: Gay Straight Alliance)