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THE TRIAL IN THE CASE OF TORTURE OF BENJAMIN MUGOŠA CONTINUED THROUGH THE TESTIMONY OF VUKASIN LEKOVIĆ

On Friday, October 20, 2023, the trial of the accused police officer of the CB Podgorica Dalibor Ljekočević continued before the Basic Court in Podgorica for extorting a statement from the victim Benjamin Mugoša.

We remind you that on May 27, 2020, Benjamin Mugoša was detained in the Podgorica Security Center, as a suspect for “bomb attacks”, which refer to the activation of an explosive device near a restaurant in Podgorica, as well as another that was activated near the house of the former police chief functionary. The very next day, May 28, 2020, Mugoša reported allegations of torture.

The Civil Alliance has already written more about this case at: https://gamn.org/jos-jednom-odlozeno-sudenje-ljekocevicu-optuzenom-za-zlostavlanje-benjamina-mugose/

At the hearing held on October 20, 2023, police inspector Vukašin Leković testified. As part of the testimony and presentation of knowledge in relation to the day in question, Leković said that he worked the second shift, and that it was the time of the corona virus. He stated that he came to work around 3:00 p.m., and he thinks that he worked the second shift that whole week. He was told that the detained person (Benjamin Mugoša) was there and that the person could be detained for six hours, so he informed the prosecutor, who ordered that the person be detained. He pointed out that he did not see severe redness, some bleeding on the face and body, and that otherwise he would have made an official note about it. Leković stated that the victim, Benjamin Mugoša, did not complain to him that someone had hit him. He said that he knew Mugoša from before from police cases and that he did not complain to him on that occasion and that they discussed two traffic accidents that Mugoša had in the previous period. One of them happened more recently compared to the day Mugoša and Leković talked, while the other happened about a year earlier, in which the witness found himself in the column behind Mugoša.

Leković denied that Mugoša said the words: “Oh, how they insulted you”, that his relationship with Mugoša was always correct because they knew each other from previous police operations. He also stated that the injured party always responded properly to calls when they called him in his capacity as a citizen, that he never resisted.

The next hearing is scheduled for November 23, 2023, when the following witnesses will be called: Nemanja Vujošević, Ljubisav Striković and Danilo Grbović. Also, the summons will be sent to the head of the criminal unit, Srđan Korac, who was superior to the defendant Ljekočević during the disputed period.

The Civic Alliance will continue to actively monitor this and other trials for torture cases, within the project “Without impunity for violation and violation of human rights in Montenegro”, with the support of the Delegation of the European Union in Montenegro.

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