A year after numerous members of the police brutally tortured Milorad Martinović, had beaten-up two people in Miljana Vukova street (“Zlatarska” street) and injured the editor of the Portal IN4S Gojko Raičević, the State Prosecutor’s Office accused only two members of the Special Anti-Terrorist Unit (SAJ) for beating Martinović, the SAJ commander Radosav Lješković for obstructing the investigation and no one else. In addition to those cases that have been video recorded, several other unarmed citizens also reported being beaten-up by the police, but the public was not informed that anyone had been identified and charged as well.
Biased absolving of police officers as perpetrators of crimes seriously undermines the ability of the very Police and State Prosecutor’s Office responsible for the implementation of an independent investigation to ensure the rule of law in all other cases.
Because of the apparent obstruction of the investigation by the police, which proved unwilling and unable to identify the perpetrators of the crimes in their ranks, we have expected and still expect the Police director, Slavko Stojanović, to resign or be removed from office.
The State Prosecutor’s Office should not have surrendered and become satisfied by identification of only two persons for beating of Martinović, when it is obvious that, only in this one case, more people were involved in the execution and helping perpetrators. In such a way, the European standard of an independent and effective investigation into police torture has not been satisfied, which is the state’s obligation under the European Convention on Human Rights and the standards set by the European Court of Human Rights.
However, the indictment of the SAJ commander for obstructing the investigation was a significant improvement for the State Prosecutor’s Office of Montenegro, which previously tolerated and helped obstruction of investigations in cases of mass beatings of detainees in Prison in 2005, accused of abuse in the “Eagle’s Flight” in 2006, police torture over Aleksandar Pejanović 2008 and mistreatment in prison of prisoners Igor Milić and Dalibor Nikezić in 2009. The state prosecutors office therefore suffered an explicit criticism from the European Commission, European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT), the Committee against Torture (CAT), and in cases Milić Nikezić and Eagle’s Flight from the European Court of Human Rights. No one in the police and the state prosecutor’s office was ever held accountable for unprofessional implementation of those investigations.
Bearing all this in mind, we hope that Milorad Martinović and other victims of police torture will sue the state for torture and especially for violating the right to an effective investigation of torture, also for the benefit of all other citizens, and lead to the implementation of European standards in Montenegro. Those standards also include determination of responsibility of all civil servants for failing to provide for the rule of law in all those cases.