#MiloĐukanović #NationalBroadcaster #DeputyPrimeMinister #TheGovernment #PrimeMinister #MediaFreedom #TvVijesti #CriminalOffense #ElectionCampaign #RtcgCouncil
We need to jointly improve the media environment. The Government will certainly contribute. I am speaking here as a member of the Government and Deputy Prime Minister and I claim that the Government will contribute to the improvement of the media environment. The Government is already doing that through the proactive approach, through two laws, media law and public broadcasting law. You are invited to give your full contribution to creating the best normative solutions, which will be a reliable basis for developing media freedom…
Wish for a quick recovery of journalist Olivera Lakić
I’m happy to hear that she is already today with her family. I sincerely hope that she will soon be in her working environment, working a very important job of investigative journalism, and I really wish her a quick recovery.
On the country’s response to the attack
It is of crucial importance to fully solve the case, including the instigators as well as the perpetrators. Such a shot at society […] requires a society’s response that is unambiguous and which will be clear that it will have a preventive significance.
Some of the cases from the previous period did not have a preventive character through the proceedings that were being conducted, some ended with court verdicts, but these were generally mild punishments and we cannot say that it was a special and general prevention, so unfortunately we have repeated cases of media violence, which is unacceptable in a democratic society.
On the need for insisting on individual responsibility
Exactly that is the answer of the society – insisting on individual responsibility. I belong to those who do not accept the answer that no one is responsible. I do not accept the answer that the case that was two or three years in the prosecution or police drawer requires an excuse from the senior officials, an excuse that no one is responsible, that no one’s responsibility can be identified. If no one’s responsibility can be identified, then the one who claims that there is no responsibility is responsible. [These are] specific people who have participated in the case, if they have shown either ignorance or some other kind of incapacity or lack of courage or intentional act.
The security authorities, first and foremost the authorities for the detection of the criminal offense, as well as the prosecution authorities, received strict assignments and a clear line of responsibility was established. We will insist on this responsibility till the end.
On the course of the investigation
The authorities responsible for investigation undertake all necessary actions. As soon as the actions are taken, there is some progress. I believe that the forensic examination that will follow will give an impetus to the investigation and give guidelines in which direction the investigation should go. Of course, as someone who knows well what criminalistics is, it is very important to discover the motive of this serious crime, because the motive leads to the perpetrator.
No possibility has been eliminated, but for now the investigation isn’t going in the direction of any private battle or any private reasons. On the contrary, what was in the focus of interest of Ms. Lakić, as an investigative journalist, is of particular importance for the investigation. However, any speculation at this moment about motives can lead us on the wrong track.
On the claims regarding connection of the attack with illegal cigarette traffic
I would not dare Mr. Komnenić, as you did, with an unbearable ease, to bring into connection this categories of facts. So, I do not know if it has anything to do with the illegal production of cigarettes, but it certainly should be in the focus of interest. In the law we cannot be in the categories “allegedly”, but we must have a degree of certainty that this could have some procedural and legal significance.
So, I think that as a society we are bound by final court verdicts. Mandatory court judgments must be respected, but I will agree with you that whenever a case is not fully solved, when there is an empty space around speculation about the instigators, a space for a new spiral of violence is created, and that is what worries me.
On the alleged connection of President-elect Milo Đukanović and attack on journalist Lakić
I believe, Mr. Komnenic, that even those who frivolously, hastily and easily put forward the theses about the alleged connection of Mr. Đukanović and the attack on Ms. Lakić do not believe in these theses. But they are very suitable for manipulation and sound very well on the political scene. So, I will tell you that besides the family of Ms. Lakić and the media in which she works, i.e. Vijesti, such an attack on the freedom of expression affects the Government the most, and Mr. Đukanović is affected, precisely because of the fact that the unfounded accusations are aimed at him. So, are we going to be so frivolous to say that some anti-fascists attacked Ms. Lakić because the thesis about fascism was mentioned? It would be extremely frivolous and I believe that the perpetrators of this crime would rejoice, if speculation about motives would lead in that direction.
On the culture of dialogue, sharp rhetoric and inappropriate statements in the media
If you want me, Mr. Komnenić, to agree with you that the rhetoric in the political game should be appropriate for that game, then I will agree. But I will also refer to the fact, and I hope that you will agree that there were also inappropriate statements on the other side, that Mr. Đukanović was referred to as an expired dictator in a column signed by one of the founders of this media; it is also the rhetoric of labeling, and labeling as such is not good. On a daily basis we can hear theses that are extremely inappropriate, that everyone who participates in the work of state authorities belonging to an organised criminal group. I do not feel comfortable when I hear it. My past is pure, my present is pure and my future will be pure, and I do not like such metaphors, to strong for the culture of dialogue that we need to have in society. If we need to discuss the culture of dialogue, then we will agree that we need to bring this culture of dialogue to the level that the word has meaning. Today, it seems to me, the word has lost its semantic meaning, word does not mean anything anymore, anyone can say anything to anyone, without arguments. We must return to the culture of dialogue.
On political classification of the media
A very fresh research conducted by the Center for Civic Education indicates that during the pre-election campaign, Vijesti published even six and a half times more unfavourable or critically oriented features about Mr. Đukanović comared to the positive features. At the same time, even ten times more it published favourable or affirmative features about Mr. Bojanić compared to the negative ones.
On the theses that Mr. Đukanović’s statements inspired the attack on Olivera Lakić
I’m asking you what kind of political motive may have Mr. Đukanović or the Government or generally ruling coalition for something like this to happen? We are suffering serious political damage.
The line of individual responsibility should be drawn. I fully agree with you that all cases that were not fully solved were, in a way, an introduction to new cases that are happening. But I also want to tell you that the previous two cases, before the wounding of Ms. Lakić, were solved in a very short time. These are the cases of Mr. Sadiković and Ms. Jovanović.
On the need for the whole society to support research journalism
First and foremost, we must be aware of the fact that society does not have an adequate response in the fight against corruption and organised crime that would be appropriate for a highly developed democratic society, and the fact is that if we had better results in the fight against corruption and organised crime, there would be fewer reasons for investigative journalism. We, as a society, need to provide support and assistance to investigative journalism, because it is really necessary in a democratic society.
On the low culture of dialogue
There is a need to work with much more attention and dedication to improve the culture of dialogue, which is at the lowest possible level.
In a situation where you kill the semantic meaning of the word, democracy is losing the most. You know why? Because the role of the media in a democratic society is precisely to work on conflicting opinions, on different political concepts, because it is a matter of democratic choice, and where there is no democratic choice there is no democracy.
On professional standards in the Montenegrin media and attitude towards the Government
DPM Pažin said that the largest number of media in Montenegro, electronic media and print media, is critically oriented towards the Government. He also claimed that the Government does not have any of its media. They are all critically oriented towards the Government.
DPM Pažin also said that he principally, and generally, condemns every form of scandalisation of personality and every type of personal attack argumentum ad hominem.
On the political influence on the work of the national broadcaster RTCG and the position of the Government
The Government does not have any jurisdiction when it comes to the RTCG Council. As you know, the Government has allocated EUR 40 million for this institution. Also, the Government signed an agreement with national broadcaster. The Government is ready to support the national broadcaster in terms of a conclusion of collective agreement. This is what the Government is responsible for.
On Government’s decision to contribute to the improvement of the media environment
We need to jointly improve the media environment. The Government will certainly contribute. I am speaking here as a member of the Government and Deputy Prime Minister and I claim that the Government will contribute to the improvement of the media environment. The Government is already doing that through the proactive approach, through two laws, media law and public broadcasting law. You are invited to give your full contribution to creating the best normative solutions, which will be a reliable basis for developing media freedom.
Source: Government of Montenegro