High state prosecutor Željko Tomković has assessed that the third decision of state prosecutor Maja Knežević from the Basic State Prosecutor’s Office in Podgorica to dismiss criminal charges against 10 officers of the Security Centre in Podgorica suspected of torturing Jovan Grujičić during the “bombing” investigation was premature and based on incompletely established facts.
The Human Rights Action (HRA) welcomes this assessment of prosecutor Tomković and invites the Acting Supreme State Prosecutor Tatjana Begović to appoint a new state prosecutor to act in this case, i.e. someone who would look at the case in its entirety and ensure an effective investigation.
On 13 February 2023, state prosecutor Maja Knežević made a decision to dismiss the criminal reports in this case after a cursory investigation of torture. For thes reason, both the HRA and the injured party’s attorney, Damir Lekić, already demanded that this case be taken over by the High or Supreme State Prosecutor’s Office, so that justice could be finally served.
Grujičić was taken from the Special Psychiatric Hospital in Dobrota by officers of the Criminal Police of the Security Centre in Podgorica, where he was being treated and where he was previously denied regular therapy, for non-medical reasons, so that he would be in an adequate mood for the polygraph examination, about which he was never informed. He was in the custody of officers at the Podgorica Security Centre on 26 May 2020, and medical findings confirmed that he had been tortured. Grujičić was forced to falsely accuse himself of placing explosive devices on the house of state security officer Duško Golubović and the bar “Grand”. In the meantime, the court finally acquitted him of the charges of planting explosives, finding that they too were based on extorted testimony.
There has been no progress in this case for almost three years, although torture in the police has been proven by both national and foreign experts and has attracted the attention of international organisations and foreign embassies, which have in the meantime called for an urgent, independent and thorough investigation. In two other related cases, five police officers were accused of torturing Marko Boljević and Benjamin Mugoša; inspector Dalibor Ljekočević was accused of torturing both these persons, and was subsequently also arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking. The police officers were not suspended, which is why the HRA protested three weeks ago to the Minister of the Interior, and yesterday to the Prime Minister in a technical mandate.
The following were on the list of suspects for the torture of Grujičić: Miloš Vučinić, former head of the Criminal Police Department at the Security Centre in Podgorica and Srđan Korać, head of the Criminal Police Station for the Suppression of Violent Crimes and Domestic Violence, as well as criminal inspectors Vukašin Leković, Dalibor Ljekočević, Bojan Vujačić, Nemanja Vujošević, Radoman Vujičić, Miodrag Jovović, Ivan Peruničić and Ljubisav Striković.
Within the framework of the HRA programme financially supported by the UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture (UNVFVT), Jovan Grujičić is represented by attorney Damir Lekić.