REACTION OF WOMEN’S RIGHTS CENTER IN RESPECT OF THE ACTION OF BASIC STATE PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE IN BERANE IN CASE OF VIOLENCE FOR WHICH MUHAMED RAMUSOVIC IS ACCUSED
Supreme State Prosecutor’s Office
Ivica Stankovic, Supreme State Prosecutor
Dear Mr Stankovic,
We are addressing you regarding the treatment of Basic State Prosecutor’s Office in Berane against the injured Jelena Krstic, interviewed in the presence of her attorney Srdjan Ljeskovic and representatives of the NGO SOS Telephone Berane, in Berane, on November 15 2019. On this occasion we are also recorded her statement, which is why we are sending you this letter.
On November 4 2019 on the record we had access to, in Case Kt. 257/19, the injured Jelena Krstic informed Basic State Prosecutor Gorica Golubovic that she had hired her attorney Srdjan Ljeskovic through NGO Women’s Rights Center from Podgorica, which provides support and legal representation to women and children victims of violence.
On November 5 2019 without notifying the injured party’s attorney or NGO Women’s Rights Center from Podgorica that hired her legal representative, explaining that required to provide documentation of the pelvic X-ray, the Basic State Prosecutor called the injured party by telephone to access the premises of Basic State Prosecutor’s Office in Berane.
As she has not yet recovered from her injuries, she has been traumatized by therapy with the violence she survived, the injured party did not want to make a statement in the absence of her attorney, but she did so as a result of pressure from the Basic State Prosecutor, Gorica Golubovic.
According to the injured party’s statement, the Basic State Prosecutor used one form of pressure upon the pretense of “good intentions”, saying that the injured party should “forgive” the defendant and denies the allegations she made to the media. In addition, by not informing the attorney of injured party that she would be heard and by insisting that injured party should continue to make the statement despite her poor state of health, the Basic State Prosecutor did not comply with the Criminal Procedure Code as well international standards for the protection of the interests and rights of victims. Further, the injured party states that the prosecutor, instead of focusing on the situation, emphasized her national declaration that she was a Serb, asking is why she needed to write a petition for the Serbian Orthodox Church.
According to these allegations, the Basic State Prosecutor grossly violated the rights of the injured party – a victim of violence, whom should be treated with respect, in a sensitive and professional manner without discrimination of any kind. In all contact with the victim, the competent authority had to take into account the sex of the victim, the trauma she has endured, the state of health, the sense of personal vulnerability and fear and its immediate needs during the hearing. It’s also not
a respectful obligation to protect the victim from secondary and repeated victimization and intimidation, thus preventing her from having proper access to justice, since heard without an attorney, although she informed the Basic State Prosecutor that as an ignorant party does not want to make a statement on her own.
We must also address the fact that Basic State Prosecutor did not act immediately after the case in question although she was notified by City of Berane Police Department, she has been handling the case 8 days after the event and after the NGOs for the protection of women and
of Human Rights addresed to the head of the Basic State Prosecutor’s Office in Berane and Supreme State Prosecutor Ivica Stankovic, during which time the defendant was released.
We believe that such treatment of the Basic State Prosecutor is not in the interest of justice and fairness, that it is not leads to establishing the true facts about a critical event. Therefore, we ask that it be investigated the conduct of Basic State Prosecutor’s Office in Berane in this case and that Prosecutor Gorica Golubovic be excluded as well from this subject.
In support of the above, we provide you with a statement from the injured party describing the conduct of competent Basic State Prosecutor.
As this is not the first time we have noticed serious omissions in the conduct of the prosecution in defense women victims of violence (recalling a recent case in Kolasin in June 2019 in which we also asked for your intervention) we ask that you take action measures that are within your competence to prevent future failures and to establish practices which will provide access to justice and the best protection for victims.
NGO Women’s Rights Center, Podgorica, November 15th 2019