Montenegro offers reward for leads on editor's murder

The government has agreed to offer a reward for fresh information on the murder of the promiment Montenegrin Dusko Jovanovic who was killed 12 years ago.

Source: balkaninsight.com, Dusica Tomovic
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On the proposal of the new Interior Minister, Goran Danilovic, Montenegro's government on Thursday said was offering a reward for fresh information about who ordered or carried out the murder of the prominent editor Dusko Jovanovic in 2004.

Danilovic is one of a number of leaders who joined the government in May as part of an election agreement between Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic and three opposition parties.

The minister also said the government had accepted his proposal to establish a new commission to monitor official investigations into threats and violence against journalists and attacks on media property.

He further said that both of his proposals were unanimously accepted by the cabinet.

The size of the award has yet to be determined, however, and Danilovic said he expected a concrete proposal in the next two weeks.

"We have to see what the right measure would be, to not embarrass ourselves after 12 years of searching for information on Jovanovic’s murder, and also to avoid any form of manipulation," Danilovic said.

Jovanovic, editor-in-chief and owner of the daily newspaper Dan, well known for his opposition to the government, was shot dead on leaving his office in Podgorica on May 27, 2004. He had received numerous death threats before his death.

Shortly after his assassination, the government offered a 1-million euro reward for information about the killing but it never revealed whether anyone offered any relevant data that helped the investigation and led towards the perpetrators.

Last October, a court in Podgorica jailed former athlete Damir Mandic for 19 years for his role in the murder. He is the only perpetrator to be convicted in relation to the murder and the masterminds behind the crime remain at large.

The only other step forward lately has been the announcement by the state prosecutor that the investigation had been reopened and that several people had been interrogated.

Prosecutors relaunched the probe into the unsolved murder in 2014. It resumed with the questioning of several top policemen, including the former head of the Podgorica force, Milan Vijanovic, and senior officers Milan Tomic and Tihomir Gacevic.

The prosecution has said it will request additional information from former Interior Minister Andrija Jovicevic, investigating judge Miroslav Basovic and Deputy Prime Minister Dusko Markovic, who was intelligence chief in 2004.

In 2015, the OSCE representative on media freedom, Dunja Mijatovic, has repeatedly urged the Montenegrin authorities to end the apparent climate of impunity surrounding attacks on journalists.

“I urge the authorities to ensure a thorough and transparent investigation in the case of Jovanovic to identify those behind the crime, and bring them to justice,” Mijatovic said.

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