The Government Commission that investigates cases of attacks on journalists in the new mandate records better results than its previous convocations and have been monitored almost all cases that occurred last year to final verdicts, said State Secretary of the Ministry of Interior Zoran Miljanic, who is also Vice President of Commission.
The commission, which was formed in mid-2021, consists of President Mihailo Jovovic, program director of the daily “Vijesti”, journalist and media expert Dragoljub Dusko Vukovic, NGO representative and lawyer Dalibor Tomovic, editor-in-chief of TV “Prva” Drazen Zivkovic, representative of the Society of professional journalists of Montenegro Sead Sadiković, executive secretary of the Media Council for Self-Regulation Ranko Vujović, representative of the daily “Dan” lawyer Nebojša Asanović, representative of the Trade Union of Media of Montenegro Predrag Nikolic, representative of the National Security Agency Katarina Vujovic, representative of the Supreme State Prosecutor’s Office Jelena Djaletic, representative of the Higher State Prosecutor’s Office Miroslav Turkovic and representative of the Police Administration Biljana Knezevic.
“Compared to the previous composition of the Commission, members of the institutions of the system are now present and we believe that this is a better solution. The Ministry of the Interior insisted that representatives of the prosecutor’s office be among the members, because the prosecutor’s office used to be a “weak link” and now we got two members. We also insisted and got a representative of the National Security Agency and the Police Administration. All institutions agreed to give a representative in the Commission and that gave results. In 2021, all attacks on journalists received their epilogue. The perpetrators of the attack on Milka Tadic Mijovic and Esad Kocan have been convicted and are currently serving their sentences”, said Miljanic.
He said that other attacks reported by journalists are being resolved and are in various phases.
“We tried to investigate even cases that were not reported, such as the attack on RTCG journalist Nebojsa Sofranac who did not want to file a report, but we tried to find out what happened and try to act preventively,” Miljanic explained, adding that the problem was that some journalists do not report threats.
An important segment is the monitoring of cases that occur through social networks, which, as he said, are all recorded and / or punished or will be punished upon completion of the procedure.
“I am satisfied with the work of the Commission and the attitude of the Government towards it. Now, new cases are being resolved much more efficiently and faster, but the dark period of previous years remains, where the cases of attacks on journalists and the murder of Dusko Jovanovic remain unsolved. The Prosecutor’s Office is now cooperative and this can be seen in relation to the new cases that occurred during 2021. However, when it comes to previous cases, their attitude towards the Commission has remained the same and they do not provide the data we need to see what really happened in certain cases of attacks, “Miljanic said.
The problem is that two members of the Commission still do not have permission to access classified information, so they cannot work and exchange information at full capacity.
“When it comes to the case of the murder of Dusko Jovanovic, we can expect some progress in the coming period, because there is some news and we will go public when we could. We think there is finally a chance that this case will be resolved. I also think that nothing has been done before to solve this case, on the contrary, obstructions have even been made, “said Miljanic.
The editor-in-chief of the daily Dan, Dusko Jovanovic, was killed in May 2004 in front of the editorial office. Only Damir Mandic was sentenced to 19 years in prison for that murder as an accomplice.
Among the obstructions that are happening now to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Police Administration, Miljanic pointed out the attitude of the Prime Minister’s Government, which is now in the technical mandate, Zdravko Krivokapic, who still does not adopt the new systematization of jobs in those organizational units.
“Due to these obstructions regarding the systematization of jobs, it has not yet been determined who should take over the cases of attacks on journalists within the Police Administration, ie to be the first to be informed when an attack occurs. After that, we could talk and find a way to improve the records of attacks on journalists, because now it happens that cases that are not related to the professional engagement of individuals are reported and kept in the database, “said Miljanic.
Asked what happened to the team that previously existed within the Police Directorate, which specialized in cases of attacks on journalists, Miljanic said that there was no information that any team existed and that when he took over the job (coordination in cases of attacks on journalists) no one was involved.
“I do not know anything about that. If someone claimed that such a team with a certain number of people exists, I claim that they were not operational. Neither by systematization nor in any way we did not manage to identify them, nor to find who has been doing that job”, said Miljanić.