PODGORICA, 11.09.2019 – Progress cannot be expected in the Dusko Jovanovic murder case and the case of attack on Tufik Softic, since individuals did not do their job as they should have, heads of the police and judiciary stated at the round table discussion that took place in the Parliament on Tuesday.
Chief of Police Veselin Veljovic said that the attacks against journalists and media freedoms are among the top priorities and activities of the police.
“In some of the cases, no matter how important they are for this topic and for the state, I am afraid that at this moment, but also in near future, we will have no progress”, said Veljovic.
He stressed that it is not because someone does not want to do it, but because in the previous procedures, in certain cases, problems and mistakes occurred, as well as subjective responsibility of certain persons in charge of carrying out those activities.
Veljovic emphasized that the state and the competent organs want to do that, but that objective circumstances and difficulties exist that prevent them from making progress.
Minister of Justice Zoran Pazin agreed with Veljovic, and added that the time has come to open the question of responsibility of those who were in charge of these cases.
According to him, the main question is how to make further progress in those cases.
“It’s not about lack of political will, the Chief of police did not receive any guidelines or suggestions from the Prime Minister of the Deputy PM not to act in those cases, on the contrary”, Pazin emphasized.
He said that they are aware that some cases could have been handled better, in particular of Jovanovic and Softic cases.
“It is evident that certain weaknesses existed in the system in regard to those cases, as well as deficiencies in the procedures. It’s high time to find an answer if that was the result of objective weaknesses or subjective omissions”, said Pazin.
According to him, if it was the result of subjective omissions, weak spots in the system must be identified, as well as if there is room for personal responsibility.
Chair of the Commission for Investigating the Attack on Journalists Nikola Markovic said that there is a serious problem regarding attacks against journalists.
He said that national organs have from its establishing had ambivalent relation towards this commission, and that, concerning police and the prosecution, problems were solved with changes on the leading positions.
“We are dissatisfied that the biggest cases of the attacks against journalists have not been revealed”, said Markovic, adding that those are Jovanovic’s murder case, and cases of attacks against Softic, Olivera Lakic and Mladen Stojovic.
Markovic emphasized that no person in charge in the competent institutions have not be discharged, not disciplinary actions have been taken against them due to omissions in the investigations.
Chair of the European Integration Committee Slvane Radunovic said that it appears as if the victims of violence against journalists are being discriminated.
According to Radunovic, editor in chief of Internet portal IN4S Gojko Raicevic was attacked on three occasions by police officers, and that none of those cases has been processed.
The round table “Media and media environment in Montenegro”, dedicated to chapters 10- Information Society and Media and 23- Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights, has been organized by parliamentary EU Integration Committee.
Radunovic said that this round table discussion is just a preparation for consultative hearing that will take place in a week, and to which, besides the round table participant, the Minister of the Interior will be invited.
MINA, Podgorica, 11/09/2019