The trial of five police inspectors accused of extorting testimony from Marko Boljević in the investigation of the “bombing attacks” on 25 May 2020 using severe violence has continued today before the Basic Court in Podgorica.
Srdjan Korać, head of the Criminal Police Station for the Suppression of Violent Crime and Domestic Violence in the Podgorica Security Centre, the superior of the accused police inspectors, testified before the court. The subpoenaed state prosecutor of the Basic State Prosecutor’s Office in Podgorica, Ivana Vuksanović, did not appear before the court as a second witness because she was on her annual vacation. It was she who interrogated Boljević after the ill-treatment he suffered – according to the indictment – at the hands of police officers.
Srdjan Korać said that he ordered that Marko Boljević be brought to the official premises of the Security Centre in Podgorica on 25 May 2020, where – according to the indictment – he was subjected to brutal torture. He also assessed that on that day it was necessary for four police officers wearing face masks to go to the town of Lapčiće to pick up Boljević, because, in his words, it was their “legal right [to do so], as well as part of the security assessment and tactics”. However, Korać kept saying that he either did not remember, or did not know, which of the police officers went to pick up Boljević, whether he was served with a summons on that occasion, who interrogated him in the official premises, how long the interrogation lasted, and whether he sent some of the inspectors who took Boljević’s statement to another task on that day, before the end of the interrogation, and if he did – who they were. He did not say anything about which state prosecutors were aware of the actions of the police in this case, but he did say that he knows that there were two of them.
Korać pointed out that, in his opinion, it was “highly symptomatic” that Marko Boljević had not complained about the torture to the competent prosecutor the very same evening, but had instead waited until the next day. He also claimed that he internally tried to obtain information about what happened that day, but that his employees, the accused police officers, told him that they only brought Boljević in and interrogated him; they said that “they did not torture him”, and that he “ate, drank and fully cooperated” in the police premises. When asked by judge Larisa Mijušković Stamatović: “Well, who tortured him, then?”, Korać replied that no members of other organisational units were involved in the treatment of Boljević.
The trial is scheduled to continue on 6 September at 8 a.m., when the court will hear the testimony of prosecutor Ivana Vuksanović, who is currently the last planned witness.
The Human Rights Action will continue to monitor this trial and to advocate for the investigation and punishment in this case of torture as well, in accordance with the international standards that are binding on Montenegro.