APPEAL for monitoring in Podgorica
We appeal to all international organizations to monitor carefully the re-trial in Podgorica of a group of nine Montenegrin police officials. They are accused of taking part in 1992 in the rendition from Montenegro to Republika Srpska forces of over a hundred refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Republika Srpska forces killed most of them. In March last year, the High Court in Podgorica released these former police officials on the grounds that not only was this not a war crime, but it was not even a criminal act at all.
The Appeals Court of Montenegro has annulled that decision, and a new trial is scheduled to begin on Monday 14th May, 2012.
The procedures so far raise serious suspicions that the top judiciary, prosecution and courts may be directly involved in obstructing the course of justice and covering up the responsibility of the responsible top executive officials of Montenegro at the time, including the responsibility of Milo Đukanović, then Prime Minister, now still the President of the ruling party and the most powerful politician in Montenegro. Only the lower and middle-ranked police officials are brought before court, although there is ample evidence and testimony before the court that the action was ordered by the top officials of the government of Montenegro. Numerous documents on the state involvement in this crime have been destroyed, and potential witnesses are being subjected to violence and various kinds of pressure
We are convinced that by monitoring this trial international organizations and the international public could be of substantial help in disclosing the facts and establishing the responsibility of those who ordered, organized and committed the war crime of these deportations of Bosnian refugees.
Uwe Kitzinger CBE, Chairman of the board NGO Gariwo, UK
Svetlana Broz, Director of NGO Gariwo, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Miodrag Perović, Professor at the University of Montenegro
Milan Popović, Professor at the University of Montenegro
Srđa Pavlović, Professor at Alberta University in Canada
Koča Pavlović, delegate of Movement for Changes in the Parliament of Montenegro
Esad Kočan, journalist, Montenegro
Milka Tadić Mijović, journalist, Montenegro
Veseljko Koprivica, journalist, Montenegro
Prof. dr. Šerbo Rastoder, professor of University in Podgorica, historian