Dačić pledges rehab center inquiry
The IM has pledged an inquiry into the finances of the Crna Reka rehab center, while it’s emerged the center’s former manager was found guilty of abuse in 2006.Source: B92, Beta
A week after the footage of the scenes of violence at the drug rehabilitation center first came into the spotlight, the Crna Reka case has now been entrusted to the courts.
Another group of witnesses to the beating in the monastery near Novi Pazar that featured in the footage has been questioned.
Priest Branislav Peranović, the center’s former manager, received a one-year suspended sentence in 2006.
ivica Dačić told B92 that an inquiry would be conducted into Peranović’s own finances, adding that the police had been calling for an investigation into activities at the center for three years, but that their warnings had fallen on deaf ears.
According to the minister, the Novi Pazar police addressed the prosecution in 2006 and 2008, but the latter had found no grounds to launch an inquiry.
“The police are conducting an extensive investigation into it. The footage emerged two years ago, and the police have addressed the judicial authorities on more than one occasion, but they didn’t deem there to be grounds for a prosecution. Regardless of the fact that this a religious center, no-one has the right to abuse citizens,“ he underlined.
Dačić promised that the police would also conduct an inquiry into Peranović’s own finances, who, for a course of treatment at Crna Reka, would charge relatives between EUR 150 and EUR 400 per month.
The minister said that the police could not, however, shut the center, as this was not within the police’s remit.
The District Prosecution in Novi Pazar claims that Peranović received a four-month sentence for abuse, suspended for one year, and that the prosecution petitioned the District Court to conduct another investigation against him in 2008.
“They don’t have all the information. The one from 2006 went to trial, and they were found guilty, but suspended sentences were issued. Peranović and two patients inflicted actual and grievous bodily harm on one other patient, for which they were found guilty. To tell the truth, suspended sentences were issued,“ said Novi Pazar District Public Prosecutor Salih Karišik.
The Novi Pazar prosecution has promised that the new case against Peranović will be brought under urgent procedure, adding that the crimes involved carried a prison sentence of six months to five years.
In the meantime, despite three calls from the Serbian Orthodox Church to close its doors, the Crna Reka rehab center continues its work, with a new man at the helm.
Dejan Jakovljević said that everything would stay as it was, except for the violent methods, which he did not wish to comment on.
Nor could he say whether he would be managing the other centers in Cer and Loznica that Peranović had been running up to now.