HRA sent a letter on 23 December 2015 to the Supreme State Prosecutor’s Office, the Basic State Prosecutor’s Office in Podgorica and the Basic Court Podgorica regarding the indictment brought against attorney at law Vladan Bojić by the Basic State Prosecutor’s Office in Podgorica on 12 November 2015.
HRA considers that the indictment breached the attorney’s human right to privacy and also that it is disputable regarding respecting the rights of defence of his client.
The attorney at law Vladan Bojić was indicted for the criminal offense Violation of Confidentiality of Criminal Procedure as he communicated over the phone some information from the investigation to the wife of the person he represented (former major of Budva Lazar Radjenovic). The wife hired Bojić in the first place to represent her husband who is in detention. Her telephone was under surveillance.
HRA considers that the indictment violated the attorney’s right to privacy as it included, without any justified reason, parts of intercepted conversations and messages containing offensive language related to third parties (Chief Special Prosecutor, a judge, etc.) irrelevant for the indictment.
The European Court of Human Rights in the case Craxi v. Italy (No. 2), 2002, considering the former Italian Prime Minister, concluded that the state authorities are under the obligation not only to refrain from violations of privacy, but also to take positive, proactive protective measures, such as to prevent publication of the parts of intercepted private conversations that are not necessary for the prosecution.
The Basic Court in Podgorica unfortunately approved this indictment without amending it in order to secure the right to privacy.
HRA also stated that the fact that the attorney has been charged with the criminal offense Violation of Confidentiality of Procedure because he communicated some information from the investigation to the wife of the person he represented is disputable from the aspect of the right to a fair trial, particularly the right to defense, guaranteed by the Constitution of Montenegro (Art. 37) and the European Convention on Human Rights (Art. 6, par. 3 b, c and d).
The trial against Bojic starts today in Podgorica. The Bar Association of Montenegro invited all its members to attend the proceedings in support of their colleague.
The letter (in Montenegrin) is available here.