Stanković: Mafia is not stronger than the state

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Weak links within the system, whether in prosecution, police or elsewhere, must be identified, said Chief State Prosecutor Ivica Stanković for Pobjeda, after a series of mafia related executions that happened over the past two months.

Stanković said that no officials, no matter their institution, will go unpunished if they had helped criminal perpetrators in any way. Prosecutor said that it does not pay off to collaborate with the mafia, and that they will be discovered eventually.

What is your comment on the latest mafia murder that happened in they yard of ZIKS on Thursday? Do you think that, after a series of executions, safety system in the state is compromised and institutions are unable to deal with the mafia?

Safety system is evidently compromised, but that does not mean that the mafia is stronger than the state. We will have to prove that. Is mafia stronger than certain individuals within the system, that is the issue, and it is the last hour to take responsibilities. The time has come for weak links to be identified, wherever they are.

Special Police Department arrested nine individuals in Kotor on September 12th. AMong them, commander of Kotor Police Zlatko Samardžić, on suspicion of helping Kavački clan. Are you investigating other police officials and are there insinuations that police and mafia are working together in other cities as well?

They are being intensively checked, all the cases of abuse of official position. No official will go unpunished if he is collaborating with the mafia. By preventing such activities, we send a message that it does not pay off to work with the mafia, and that they will be discovered. That is the only way to regain citizens’ trust, and provide them with safety and security. If a minister committed a crime, he will be responsible as well, no function will save anyone who chose the wrong side.

Based on your work in the Prosecution so far, it seems no one is untouchable. Some of the most influential people were processed, such as former state and DPS official Svetozar Marović. Will we see more action next month, when it comes to corruption in high places and organized criminal?

I am glad that I give off that impression, because it is not wrong. State Prosecution will prosecute perpetrators. We are not lead by anyone’s influence, political ties or positions, and this will continue. Prosecution is not interested in functions but in perpetrators. If a minister committed a crime, he will be held responsible, and the same goes for mayors, directors, employers, workers. I can not fully respond about our future actions, because it can be a warning. It would not be serious if such a warning was sent out by Prosecution. But they should not rest easy, that is certain.

Do you think organization within Prosecution is more important than arresting “big fish”?

Neither sector has seen full results accomplished. There is a lot of work to be done within organization, and things to change. Regaining trust can be continued only with persistent progress. There are fish we are investigating, whether big or small, so there is a lot to do in that segment as well.

It will be two years of your mandate in October. How many investigations were started, how many cases?

Cases are started by two higher and 13 basic state prosecutions, whether on their own initiative or ours. It is hard to speak of concrete numbers with 16 prosecutions with daily business. I have recently gotten 6 months report of Special State Prosecution, that started 254 cases. For 24 months, in 16 prosecutions, the number should be much higher.

You have said several times that there is a special war being waged against you and main special prosecutor Milivoje Katniće. Are there any investigations in this case?

This entails obstructions of those who do not wish the Prosecution to deal with them. They are wasting time, because they will not succeed. However, things are slower because there are a lot of obstructions in different ways. The war is waged in different levels and from different addresses. There are cases that could give some answers. No matter their obstructions, they will face the justice.

Public could think that the criminal is thriving only on Budva. But you said you were checking Kolašin, Podgoricu, Nikšić and Bar as well. Any progress?

You hear that a lot, but it does not mean it is right. We do not wish to prioritize one area and not the other. Every municipality will face justice, and you will learn about it in due time.

Findings of detective Vučić Petrović in the case of murder of editor and owner of Dan daily Duško Jovanović does not contain proof of his claims, you said. Are there elements for holding Petrović responsible on account of false reporting?

Creating a report that does not have proof of claims is not a crime. We face these kind of reports every day, but we do not make them public. Making this report public did not help the Prosecution.

There were complaints to work of prosecutors before, have you started any investigations within your institution?

We controlled the work of all prosecutors during last year. There were no irregularities. However, I am not completely please with their work. I am personally involved in some cases. I am ready to take and ask for responsibilities.

Source: Cafe Del Montenegro