The director of the Montenegrin Committee of Human Rights Advocates, Velija Muric, said in an interview with VOA that the courts in Montenegro are not committed to justice and to dealing seriously with suspected war crimes cases.
Mr Muric estimates that only 8 war crimes trials have been held since Montenegro’s independence and only one perpetrator has been convicted. He notes that unless the right steps are taken to shed light on war crimes cases, Montenegro faces serious problems in European integration.
Analysts and experts on legal issues in Montenegro estimate that the judicial system in the country lacks the will and desire to prosecute war crimes.
Speaking to VOA, Mr Velija Muric said the courts in Montenegro are not committed to justice and dealing with the wartime past.
“The Montenegrin courts are not ready for fair trials, as I myself have been present in various court hearings as a lawyer for victims and injured families. “This signals that the courts in Montenegro are not committed to justice and to dealing seriously with the past of the war.”
Mr Muric estimates that only eight war crimes trials have been held since Montenegro’s independence, with only one perpetrator convicted. He highlighted the case of the Husajs, on the border between Montenegro and Kosovo where 6 innocent civilians were executed by the former Yugoslav army.
“The case of Husaj and the murder of Albanian civilians, children, the elderly, where 6 people were executed in one day, shows the shame of the Montenegrin court. Instead of conducting a fair and impartial examination, they allowed the bodies of the 6 victims from the Andrijevica hospital in Montenegro, where their bodies were examined, to be transferred to a village in Kosovo, near Peja, for “Staged that people were allegedly killed there in confrontation with the Serbian armed forces,” Muric said.
He noted that in Montenegro, war crimes suspects remain at large, while in the progress report, the European Commission reiterated warnings that war crimes should be a high priority for Montenegrin prosecutors.
“War criminals in Montenegro move freely and in this regard there is no positive development of the Montenegrin judiciary. “If the right steps are not taken to shed light on the numerous war crimes cases, then Montenegro faces serious problems in European integration,” said Velija Muric, director of the Montenegrin Committee of Human Rights Advocates. / VOA