24 Dec 14
New Trial Starts For Montenegrin Editors’s Murder
Damir Mandic, the only man ever charged over the killing a prominent journalist and editor ten years ago, has pleaded innocent in a fresh trial that began on Tuesday.
The new, third consecutive trial for the murder of the journalist Dusko Jovanovic began on Tuesday in the High Court in Podgorica, with the only defendant, Damir Mandic, pleading innocence and accusing the police of “planting evidence”.
Mandic said he had been kept in prison for 10 years although he was innocent, and his human rights had been violated.
Jovanovic, the editor-in-chief and owner of the daily newspaper Dan, well known for his opposition to the government, was shot dead leaving his office in Podgorica on 27 May 2004. He had received numerous death threats before his death.
A court jailed Mandic for 30 years for the killing in 2009 as an accomplice to the crime. He remains the only perpetrator to be ever convicted. The masterminds behind the murder are still at large.
The only step forward in a decade has been the recent announcement by the State Prosecutor that the investigation had been reopened and several people interrogated.
Mandic has said he does not want to be made part of a “political” trial. “The only victims in this process are family Jovanovic and me. I told Dusko Jovanovic’s brother that I can look in the eyes of everyone from his family because I have nothing to be ashamed of,” he said.
In June, the OSCE representative on media freedom, Dunja Mijatovic, urged the authorities to end the apparent climate of impunity over attacks on journalists.
“I urge the authorities to ensure a thorough and transparent investigation in the case of Jovanovic to identify those behind the crime, and bring them to justice,” Mijatovic said.
Source: Balkan Insight (Montenegro)