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Civil Alliance Dissatisfied with the Work of Montenegro Office of Public Prosecution

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The Civic Alliance (CA) expressed, in a public statement issued on January 4, 2014, its dissatisfaction with the work of the Office of Public Prosecution of Montenegro, primarily because of its illegal actions regarding criminal charges filed by the association and other problems identified by CA in its past work.

“The Civic Alliance has filed numerous criminal charges for violations of human rights, corruption and abuse of office, but even after several interventions, the Office of Public Prosecution never responded to inform us what actions it took on those charges. Also, we have pointed out, through the media, the various violations of the laws in which the Office of Public Prosecution should have acted and yet, the expected actions never materialized”, Zoran Vujičić, CA Coordinator for Rule of Law, says in the statement for the public he signed on the behalf of CA.

Vujičić added that CA’s partner organisations, but also state institutions, above all the Police, have similar experiences from their work and communication with the Prosecution Office. According to CA, it results in a worrisome situation, having in mind the complex relations between the Police and the Prosecution Office which require the highest levels of professionalism and cooperation.

“We believe that the Prosecution Office should be the guarantor of the rule of law and respect for human rights, which is the main reason why this society needs professional, competent, independent and courageous prosecutors. On the other hand, in the current situation, the Prosecution Office doesn’t process the criminal charges, doesn’t investigate or test the testimonies and evidence and does not inform those who filed the charges about the actions it took”, CA says.

The organisation notes several examples of unsatisfactory and sub-par work of the Prosecution Office, including a case when the Prosecution lost, and admitted to it, a criminal charge brief filed by CA, which ultimately had to repeat the whole procedure.

Vujičić says in the public statement that, although the actual offenses may not be the most dramatic or controversial in contemporary Montenegro, the listed examples illustrate quite well why CA has no confidence in the work of the Prosecution Office and why the work of the Office fails short of its main goal to protect the interests of the citizens of Montenegro.

CA expresses its support for the idea to start procedure for appointment of public prosecutors, announced by Deputy Prime Minister Duško Marković, and adds that the opening of Chapters 23 and 24 of pre-accession negotiations with EU will place the Prosecution Office in the spot-light and will serve as a “litmus test” for the preparedness of the state to take up determined and honest fight against all those who violate the laws of Montenegro.

“Europe now seeks measurable results. We believe that the urgent appointment of a new Supreme State Prosecutor is a matter of highest importance, and his or her first task would be to inspect the past work and determine the responsibility of his or her colleagues in the Prosecution Office. In addition, we need a new law on state office of prosecution, a system and foundations for periodic evaluation of the work and responsibility of state prosecutors”, CA says in the public statement signed, on the behalf of the organization, by Zoran Vujičić. (Source: Civic Alliance)

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