Today, the Executive Director of the Human Rights Action (HRA) Tea Gorjanc Prelević demanded from the Prime Minister in the technical Government, Dritan Abazović, to ensure the legal operation of the Ministry of the Interior and suspend the officers of the Police Administration who have been accused of extorting testimony from victim Marko Boljević using severe violence.
Three weeks ago, on 6 March, the HRA sent a letter of protest to the Minister of the Interior Filip Adžić, because he had not suspended the police inspectors accused of extorting testimony since last July. Among other things, this led to one of them appearing in the media as a spokesperson for the Police Administration on no less than two occasions.
Minister Adžić has not responded to the letter to this day, but some of the defendants were seen on Friday in an official vehicle on the streets of Podgorica.
Mandatory suspension of police officers accused of work-related crimes is required by the Law on Internal Affairs, as well as international human rights standards.
In both 2014 and 2022, the UN Committee against Torture expressly demanded from Montenegro that all officials under investigation for acts of ill-treatment be removed from duty immediately, and remain removed for the entire duration of the criminal proceedings.
The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) is continuously asking the Montenegrin authorities to send a message of zero tolerance to torture from the highest level. “By not acting in this case, Minister Adžić is sending a completely opposite message”, Gorjanc-Prelević pointed out in the letter to Abazović.
On 16 May 2022 the Decision of the Basic Court in Podgorica no. Kvo 22/22 confirmed the indictment against five inspectors of the Security Centre in Podgorica – Danilo Grbović, Dalibor Ljekočević, Bojan Vujačić, Ivan Peruničić and Nemanja Vujošević – for the criminal offence of extorting testimony from Marko Boljević (Article 166, paragraph 2 of the Criminal Code of Montenegro). Boljević has pointed out that police officers forced him to accuse Benjamin Mugoša and Jovan Grujičić of planting explosives, by torturing him with tasers around the genital area and thighs, hitting by him with boxing gloves, baseball bats and hands in the upper part of his body and on the soles of his feet, by threatening to kill him and pointing a gun at his head, and by threatening to murder members of his family and his girlfriend.