Commission expects indictments in Ćuruvija caseVeran Matić
Last year, to mark the anniversary of the murder of Slavko Ćuruvija, hopes were voiced that next year there would be some progress in identifying the killer and those who ordered the murder.
This year, we can say that investigative activities have intensified to a level that can be defined as completion of the collection of evidence and testimonies necessary for an indictment. The legal deadline for an indictment is six months, and we believe that this deadline will not be used but that indictments, we hope, will be brought before that time.
Previously, competent national authorities, while working on this case, collected a variety of data, information and evidence, and they were always a small tep away from getting this case resolved, and precisely this small step was brought by the Commission for Investigating Murders of Journalists which united forces and created an atmosphere in which a proactive approach offset that step, and we now the first time have official suspects in custody. In this way, all criminals are being sent the message that there is no protection from prosecution, and that there will also be no forgetting through the passage of time of the most serious crimes.
An international arrest warrant has been issued for one suspect, and police and judicial institutions are trying to identify the country in which he is located in order to take all actions that would facilitate bringing him to justice. In this case, the Commission seeks to sensitize institutions and international public so that this is a priority task of everyone, because impunity for killers of journalists is a global problem, while the UN two years ago launched a global initiative against impunity for crimes against journalists.
The case of the murder of Slavko Ćuruvija is treated as symbolic one, to describe a time of terror against media and journalists in the 1990s. At the same time, he became a symbol that describes inactivity or insufficient activity to solve the case that is a symbol. And today, we endeavor to have special prosecutor's office investigations also become a symbol of how even after 15 years, suspected perpetrators and those who ordered crimes can still be brought in in a process that defines the legal system of the country, so that it could be determined in a fair trial would who killed Slavko Ćuruvija, on whose orders, and with with what motive.
The Commission will also deal with who and in what way obstructed the work of investigating authorities during all these years, who did not do what they had to do, and why. Commission's members especially welcome and support the work of the Foundation Slavko Ćuruvija, which will also help realize the objectives we are working on, and impose the idea of impunity for violence against journalists as one of the key ideas when it comes to freedom of journalists and the media.
The Commission continues to work on this case, while the major part of the work is in the hands of the Prosecutor's Office for Organized Crime, which is finalizing work on questioning of possible suspects and witnesses, gathering all the evidence. We will continue to also deal with the environment within which a climate was created where the execution of Slavko Ćuruvija was possible, which has also been defined by top state officials as a murder committed by the authorities.