The trial of five police inspectors – Danilo Grbović, Dalibor Ljekočević, Bojan Vujačić, Ivan Peruničić and Nemanja Vujošević, accused of extorting a statement from Marko Boljević in the “bombing” investigation by using severe violence on 25 May 2020, continued today before the Basic Court in Podgorica.
Special prosecutor Miroslav Turković, who at the time of the event was the head of the Basic State Prosecutor’s Office (BSPO) in Podgorica, testified, while Srdjan Korać, the head of the Criminal Police Station for the Suppression of Violent Crimes and Domestic Violence in the Podgorica Security Centre, who was the immediate superior of the accused police officers and had led the police operation in which Boljević was interrogated and abused, and in which Jovan Grujičić and Benjamin Mugoša were interrogated and abused as well, testified again.
Prosecutor Miroslav Turković said that police officers informed him in May 2020 that they had in their premises a person who possessed information about the perpetrators of the bombing attacks on the “Grand” bar and the house of police officer Duško Golubović. “In those cases, we were working on identifying the perpetrators as we were already more or less familiar with all the other circumstances. It occurred to me that it would be good if the state prosecutor on call would question that person (Boljević) in the capacity of witness, since the prosecutor’s office was operating with difficulties due to the Coronavirus. I passed on all the information I received from the police to the prosecutor on call, Ivana Vuksanović, and she agreed to question the witness”. Due to the amount of time that had passed, Turković could not say with certainty who exactly called him from the police. He said that, hierarchically speaking, it should have been Miloš Vučinić, Srdjan Korać or Milovan Pavićević.
According to the indictment, after torturing Boljević, one of the policemen drove him in an official vehicle to the BSPO building in Podgorica, where the now-accused police officers with knit face masks on their heads sat in an ‘Opel Astra’ vehicle. They threatened him by saying that they will be waiting for him there. In his testimony, Boljević said he remembers that the ‘Opel Astra’ was black.
Srdjan Korać, head of the Criminal Police Station, said in court that in the critical period the black ‘Opel Astra’ was assigned to the then head of the Security Department in Podgorica, Miloš Vućinić. “As far as I know, there is no official prohibition that would have prevented him from lending the car to subordinate police officers”, said Korać in response to a question posed by prosecutor Romina Vlahović. However, Korać added that he, as the defendants’ superior, would have had to be personally informed about this, which was not the case here.
In the course of the proceedings, the defendants denied that they transported Boljević from the Security Centre to the BSPO for questioning, claiming that he came on his own. However, at today’s hearing, acting prosecutor Romina Vlahović said that the case documentation shows that a police officer delivered to the prosecutor’s office a record of the police interrogation of Boljević at 9:55 pm. “In my 18 years of practice, when the police would deliver a document, I would record the time of its delivery only if policemen would give it to me at the time when they brought in the person who was to be questioned”, explained the prosecutor, adding that this most likely happened in this case as well. Since the then police officer Radoman Vujičić was listed in the document as the contact person, his questioning was scheduled for the next hearing.
The trial is scheduled to proceed on 7 November at 11:30 am.
Miloš Vučinić, who at the time of the critical event was the head of the Security Department of the Criminal Police in the Podgorica Security Centre, and Srdjan Milikić, the officer who was on duty at the reception desk of the Podgorica Security Centre, are scheduled to testify on the same day.
The Human Rights Action (HRA) will continue to monitor the trial and advocate for comprehensive investigations and punishment of torture in accordance with international standards that are binding on Montenegro.