Today, on the 31st of March 2016, the trial of two police officers, members of the Special Anti-Terrorist Unit (SAJ) should begin in the Basic Court in Podgorica. The two police officers are the only ones the Basic State Prosecutor’s Office accused for brutal beating of Mr. Milorad Martinovic following the protest on 24 October 2015 in Podgorica, although the recorded video of the beating shows at least twenty uniformed persons involved.
The Basic State Prosecutor’s Office, under the guidance of Ms. Ljiljana Klikovac, accepted to accuse only two police officers, members of SAJ, that the Police agreed to sacrifice in order to maintain the illusion of the application of law in the case of police torture over Martinovic. The SAJ commander, Mr. Radosav Ljeskovic, untill today has not been sanctioned in any way, although he commanded a unit whose members were brutally beating Martinovic, as well as other citizens in incidents following the protest, and although he refused to cooperate with the State Prosecution claiming he did not know who were police officers who participated in the beating of Martinovic, including those who were with him in the police car “because they were all masked.”
The State Prosecution unfortunately accepted such a mockery of law and justice by Ljeskovic, who was joined, by failure to perform, by the Director of Police Department Slavko Stojanović, the former Minister of Internal Affairs Raško Konjević and current Minister of Internal Affairs Duško Marković.
It is generally known that police operations like the one securing the protest on 24th October 2015 run according to a plan, have persons responsible for the command and implementation of the plan, who at all times have to or need to know whom they command and where and for that purpose are in constant radio contact.
The fact that the Basic State Prosecutor’s Office in Podgorica has indicted only two policemen for the beating of Martinović, and not all those involved, who commanded and who later obstructed the investigation by helping perpetrators of the crime HRA considers a serious compromising of the state prosecution office and the police who are thereby promoting impunity for police torture.
We remind that the Ombudsman in his Opinion (no. 01-488/15-4 of 14 December 2015) stated that “more police officers were” involved in the beating of Martinovic and recommended “that the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Police Department without delay take measures to identify and determine the responsibility of all police officers who, on 24 October 2015, against the citizen Milorad Martinović applied excessive physical force and rubber truncheon and inflicted him serious bodily injury and damage to his property. “
Also the Council for Civil Control of Police, demanded from the Police Department “to inform the Council and the public of the identity of all police officers who were acting in this particular case, whose actions were out of the scope of lawful police conduct, as well as the basis for action in this case and the hierarchical responsibility for the action”.
A video recording of police torture of Mr. Martinović is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCm1lxPyouY