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KORAĆ AND TURKOVIĆ HEARD FOR ALLEGATIONS OF TORTURE. PROPOSED NEW LEADING OF EVIDENCE

Today, the trial for the criminal offense of extorting a statement followed by serious violence by the police of the victim Marko Boljević continued before the Basic Court in Podgorica, where the witnesses Srđan Korać, head of the Criminal Police and Miroslav Turković, who was the deputy head of the Basic State prosecutor’s office. The third summoned witness – Srđan Milikić did not attend the trial because there is no evidence that he was properly summoned, so the court decided to call him again as a witness at the next scheduled hearing.

At the beginning of the trial, the witness Miroslav Turković was heard. Answering the court’s questions, he said that in the afternoon one of the police officers informed him that there is a person who has certain knowledge about who is the perpetrator of the criminal acts of activating explosive devices near the house of Duško Golubović and the Grand bar. He stated that he could not remember exactly what time it was. From memory, he thinks it was outside working hours and that he was in the parking lot. After calling an employee from the Police Directorate, Turković called the prosecutor Ivana Vuksanović, saying everything that the police employees told him. As he states, during the conversation with prosecutor Vuksanović, it occurred to him that Boljević could be questioned immediately. He stated that prosecutor Vuksanović informed him that she had interrogated Marko Boljević that same night or the next day.

Answering special questions, witness Turković stated that he did not ask the police officers how long Boljević had been in custody. He also pointed out that Vuksanović did not give the duty prosecutor instructions on what to ask Boljević, and when asked if it was usual for the hearing to be conducted late in the evening, Turković said that it was nothing unusual, that it was the corona period, when prosecutors came alternately. In addition, the judge can also confirm that a large number of interrogations are carried out much later in the evening compared to the time when Boljević was interrogated. He stated that Boljević objectively could not be heard earlier due to the fact that the acting prosecutor needed time to familiarize herself with the case and to organize everything for the hearing.

Turković stated that he did not formally request a statement from prosecutor Vuksanović and that it is possible that they discussed it informally at one of the collegiums. He pointed out that, based on how well he knows Vuksanović as a professional and a person, if Boljević had complained to her or if she had seen any kind of injury, she would have noted it, after which she would have filed a case.

Then Srđan Korać, who was the head of the Criminal Police during the disputed event, was heard again as a witness. He was asked a special question about which cars were available at that moment in the unit he managed, which was followed by a special question from prosecutor Romina Vlahović about which car he was currently using. Korać replied that he is currently using a black Opel Astra car, which was not available to his unit at the time, but that he borrowed the car in September 2020. He explained that only he drives that car and that it is a personal use of an official vehicle, and that police officers cannot use it as an operational vehicle. He attached to the court a letter from the Police Administration in which he owes the car, as well as the traffic license.

The defense proposed the presentation of new evidence, the hearing of R.V., as well as the inclusion as evidence of a letter from the Police Administration on the use of an official vehicle, as well as the traffic license of the official vehicle driven by Srđan Korać. Prosecutor Vlahović suggested that M.V. be heard as well. who, during the period when the allegations of torture were reported, was driving a black Opel Astra official vehicle.

The continuation of the trial is scheduled for November 7, 2023, before the Basic Court in Podgorica.

You can find more about this court case, about which the Civil Alliance has already written, at this link https://gamn.org/slucaj-policijske-torture-nad-markom-boljevicem/

Investigation and prosecution of possible torture must be conducted in accordance with international frameworks for the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment developed by the United Nations and the Council of Europe. The obligations that Montenegro has arise from the fact that it is a member of both international bodies, and is reflected in the expectation from the Montenegrin authorities to make maximum efforts to ensure the prohibition of torture and other forms of abuse.

Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights clearly prohibits torture as well as other forms of ill-treatment “No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” As stated in the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Gäfgen v. Germany (application no. 22978/05) of June 1, 2010, paragraph 107: “The prohibition of abuse of persons applies, regardless of the behavior of the victim or the motive of the authorities. Torture, inhuman or degrading treatment must not be carried out even in circumstances where the life of an individual is at risk. No deviation is allowed ch

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