Slovak Filmmaker Faces Trial, Possible Jail Time For Documentary Expose

Slovak Justice - H 2012

Zuzana Piussi's "Disease of the Third Power" looks at corruption in the state judiciary.

COLOGNE, Germany - A Slovak filmmaker is facing a trial and possible jail time for her documentary which exposes flaws and possible corruption in the country's judiciary.

Director Zuzana Piussi could face up to two years in jail if found guilty on charges she used violated the rights of a Slovak judge by using unauthorised courtroom footage in her documentary Disease of the Third Power.

The doc, which aired on Slovak national television, is an expose of alleged abuses of power by Supreme Court President Stefan Harabin as well as major flaws in the state judiciary system.

After the film's broadcast, Slovak judge Helena Kozikova sued Piussi claiming the filmmaker used unauthorised footage that cast her in a negative light. In the film, Kozikova is not mentioned by name and appears with a black bar obscuring her face. Piussi denies the charges.

The case has become a political issue in Slovakia, with former Minister of the Interior Daniel Lipsic as well as the Czech Minister for Foreign Affairs Karel Schwarzenberg coming up in support of the film and the director.

The film can be streamed free of charge on the Doc Alliance portal through Nov.11.