Appeal against the court decision on Softić’s lawsuit

Source/Author: SMCG/Vijesti online

PODGORICA, 13.11.2017 – Lawyer Dalibor Tomović requested modification of Podgorica Basic Court decision on Tufik Softić’s lawsuit. He requested compensation of EUR100.000 due to ineffective and unproductive investigation conducted regarding attacks on the journalist by competent prosecution offices.

The Basic Court in Podgorica at the end of October issued a decision in which it awarded Suftić compensation, which should have been paid by the state, in the amount of EUR 7.000 due to the fact that it did not even after 10 years find neither the attackers not those who ordered attacks.

“By respecting the right to an impartial judge’s assessment of the amount of non-pecuniary damage, however, having in mind the legal standards of the European Court of Human Rights in similar cases we consider that the court has wrongly applied the substantive law when it rejected a part of the claim” states Tomović’s appeal.

The lawyer calls upon a number of judgments of the European Court, which in similar cases awarded a higher amount of compensation.

“As the court found in the disputed judgment that claimant’s personality rights were violated, referring to Articles 2 and 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Article 28 (paragraphs 1, 2, and 3) of the Constitution of Montenegro, it comes out that by proper application of the substantive law and European Court practice – having in mind the circumstances of the case and the fact that the violation of the rights of the claimant has resulted in lasting and irremediable consequences – the appeal should be accepted” – states the document.

Regarding the first attack on Softić, the Court found that failures in the activities of the state and relevant bodies do not relate only to the duration of the pre-trial procedure and the investigation, but also to the fact that the prosecution questioned the journalist seven years after the attack. Therefore he was not allowed to actively participate in the investigation.

It is added further that the prosecution questioned for the first time Draško Vuković and Dragan Labudović seven years after the attack while Nikola Božović was never questioned, although the journalist mentioned them in his statements to the Police Directorate as persons who threatened him for his newspaper articles.