The Human Rights Action (HRA) supports today’s protest in front of the Basic Court in Podgorica, which was organised by employees of judicial institutions because of the tragic event that took place on Friday, 3 March, where a person was killed when he activated a hand grenade at the entrance to the court building. Five persons were physically injured, while four others sought help at the Emergency Centre in Podgorica due to stress.
HRA appeals to the Government of Montenegro and the Ministry of Justice to finally, after more than two decades, establish judicial police in all the courts in Montenegro in order to ensure the protection of all persons who spend time in judicial institutions, and to also improve the work of the courts in other ways. The tragic event that took place three days ago in front of the Basic Court in Podgorica is a consequence of incredible neglect of the Governments and their ministers of justice to apply the law and solve the issue of providing security to judicial institutions in Montenegro.
The HRA recalls that as early as 2002, Article 124 of the Law on Courts stipulated that “provision of conditions for the smooth operation of courts, maintenance of order, protection of persons and property, delivery, enforcement and other tasks specified by law shall be performed by the judicial police”. This solution was in force until 2015, when the Law stipulated that the security of persons, property and court buildings shall be the job of “court employees charged with security duties, or legal persons authorised to perform protection and security tasks”.
However, more than two decades later, courts in Montenegro still do not have their own security service.
The above problem was not solved despite the fact that four people were killed, two wounded and several others injured in judicial institutions in the past two decades.
In November 2002, Rajko Stajović killed Miomir Ćetković from Podgorica and seriously wounded Smiljana Jovićević in the corridor of the Misdemeanour Court in Podgorica.
In September 2005, Judge Milorija Pejović was murdered in the Basic Court in Bar. Batrić Djuković shot her three times in the head, proceeding to wound attorney Djordje Janković. Having murdered Judge Pejović, Djuković ran to the office of Judge Željko Šupljeglav with the intention of killing him as well. However, since the bullet got stuck, he used the gun to hit him several times in the head. Judges Pejović and Šupljeglav were acting in Djuković’s pending disputes against his mother and neighbours.
In November 2020, Dragan Drašković was killed when he activated a hand grenade in the hallway of the Basic State Prosecutor’s Office in Cetinje. Thankfully, there were no employees or citizens nearby. He was outraged by the work of the then prosecutor in Cetinje because he believed that he was unjustly accused of inflicting physical injuries.
In August 2022, state prosecutor Maja Janković was attacked in her office of the Basic State Prosecutor’s Office in Podgorica. On that occasion, D.K. entered her office without an invitation, insulting and threatening her because he was dissatisfied with her decision. He remained there until the officers of the Police Administration arrived and took him into custody. He was later issued detention for assaulting an official.
Ten Governments have changed since the Law on Courts prescribed the obligation to establish judicial police. None of them did anything to fulfill this statutory obligation.