APC continues to delay decision-making in cases against judges and prosecutors


Nearly two months later, the Agency for Prevention of Corruption of Montenegro (APC) has not yet adopted decisions in the cases of judges and prosecutors for whom MANS established that there was a suspicion that they had hidden transactions related to their own assets or that of their family members, or that they simply had failed to report the assets for themselves and household members within the legal deadline.

Namely, at the beginning of April this year, MANS submitted complete documentation to APC in cases of Andrijana Nastić, state prosecutor in the High State Prosecutor’s Office, Vesna Jovićević, retired state prosecutor, Zoran Radović, the new president of the High Court in Podgorica, as well as Ramo Striković, retired judge of the Appellate Court.

In all four cases, MANS established that there was a suspicion that the aforementioned holders of positions in the judiciary had violated the provisions of the Law on Prevention of Corruption in the part that refers to the obligation to submit accurate declarations on income and assets, as well as a special report after a change in assets of more than five thousand euros. The APC was provided with complete documentation that we had obtained by investigating the assets of judges and prosecutors, but even after the expiration of the legal deadline, there has been no confirmation that this institution initiated proceedings and adopted decisions. Because of this, MANS has already submitted a call for urgent response to this institution, asking for final action upon submitted initiatives.

On the other hand, APC has previously taken a very problematic position according to which public officials are not obliged to report the increase/decrease in assets in cases where they sell a real estate and thus generate income.

According to this interpretation, when public officials sell their assets and earn income based on that, it is not about increase in assets, but only about changing its form. In this way, current Director of the APC, Jelena Perović, failed to report the income from the sale of the apartment to the Agency, as well as the former president of the Supreme Court, Vesna Medenica, back when she sold land to Zoran Ćoćo Bećirović for 139,000 euros.

Such interpretation opened the door wide to numerous abuses.

We remind you that MANS has been waiting for more than a year for APC to act in the case of Veljko Rutović, the state prosecutor in the Supreme State Prosecutor’s Office, who is also suspected of having hidden from APC the acquisition of real estate by a family member, whom he then stopped reporting as a member of the household.

This practice is immanent to many officials in Montenegro, who hide the increase in assets from the public in the described manner, most often under the name of their children. Several cases related to the assets of Vesna Medenica and the former Chief Special State Prosecutor, Milivoje Katnić, are also yet to be resolved by the APC which is simply – silent, and court proceedings are ongoing in those cases.

Failure to declare assets in the manner provided by the Law or even failure to submit reports for the entire year has become a growing issue for the already collapsed perception of the integrity of public officials, especially if one takes into account that it is the judiciary that is expected to carry the greatest burden in transitional reforms when it comes to high-level corruption and organized crime.


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