Human Rights Action with regret states that 16th anniversary of the murder of editor in chief of daily newspaper Dan, Duško Jovanović, passes without answers to questions who is involved in that murder, who ordered it and why and who is responsible for the fact that the investigation has not to lead to serious results to this day. We expect urgent engagement of a foreign expert for a thorough reconsideration of the investigation so far.
Only one person, Damir Mandić, has been found guilty and convicted as co-perpetrator and that after marathon eleven-year-old process in which the trial was repeated three times and in which motive of the murder was not discovered. Despite insufficient results of the investigation and remarks on omissions in it, the way investigation was lead so far by the state prosecution was not thoroughly questioned. Neither was it questioned whether the police did all that was necessary to protect Jovanović, having in mind threats made against him which he reported.
The fact that murder of founder and editor in chief of a media critically tuned towards the authorities even happened, and that it remains unsolved, in continuity endangers freedom of speech and the rule of law in Montenegro.
Report “Unsolved murder of director and editor in chief of daily newspaper Dan Duško Jovanović – question without answer”, which HRA published four years ago and delivered to Ministry of Interior Affairs, Police Authority and Supreme State Prosecutor’s office, points to the fact that the investigation of the murder was not thoroughly conducted, that is, that public remains without answers to some of the most important questions, which have, as an example, lead to the discovery of murders of journalist Slavko Ćuruvija in Serbia. We posed questions: whether it was adequately investigated who threatened Jovanović? What did the state authorities do to protect him? Did the State Security Authority, whose head at the time was current prime Minister Duško Marković have Jovanović’s dossier and did it follow him? The public still does not have the answers.
The main recommendation of the HRA’s report was to engage a foreign expert in criminal investigation of assassination who would impartially perceive all that was done in the investigation of the murder of Duško Jovanović and give recommendations for further investigation. HRA welcomes the Government’sGovernment’s decision to help Commission for monitoring investigations of assaults on journalists to engage a foreign expert in the goal of gaining objective and professional perception of the course and the results of the investigation so far in the case of Duško Jovanović’s murder, as President of the Commission for monitoring investigations of assaults on journalists Nikola Marković published after a meeting with the Prime Minister on 4 March 2020.
Solving the murder of Duško Jovanović is necessary for democratic progress of the state, securing the rule of law and securing an ambience which encourages the work of journalists. We hope that engagement of foreign expert will stop the further waste of time in the search for truth and justice.