"Special Prosecutor's Office to take over the case of the murder of Milan Pantic"
Commission for investigating the killings of journalists requested that Special Prosecutor's Office for Organized Crime takes over murder case of Milan PanticSource: Tanjug
The murder of "Vecernje novosti" correspondent from Jagodina, Milan Pantic, took place on June 11, 2001.
In a statement, the Chairman of the Commission, Veran Matic, reminds that this June 11 will mark two years since the Commission, based on the information it has obtained in recent years, submitted request that the Special Prosecutor's Office take over the case of Milan Pantic and open an official investigation.
However, according to Mr. Matic, the Special Prosecutor's Office ignored the request to open an investigation in the case of a journalist for two years, while the Commission deeply believes that he was killed because he persistently investigated suspicious privatizations in Jagodina and informed the public in detail about his findings.
He adds that the police and judicial authorities in Jagodina did not live up to its task, adding that Commission's findings indicate that the long-term investigation was not conducted properly, that important material evidence was not preserved, that important investigative actions were not performed, while others were not properly processed and documented.
"But the conspiracy to silence Milan Pantic, according to everything we know now, was not forged in Jagodina, but in the circles that decided on privatizations in the Republic of Serbia. The murder of Milan Pantic is an organized crime for which, we are deeply convinced, Prosecutor's Office for organized crime based in Belgrade is responsible. Ignoring that fact sheds an ugly light on all of us", Matic pointed out.
According to Matic, the Special Prosecutor's Office is obliged to publicly explain its inaction and indifference towards the murder of the Serbian journalist.
"In 2001, colleague Pantic believed that Serbia was a democratic state in which journalists were allowed to cover the circumstances under which important state affairs were carried out, as well as to point out the suspicious activities of important state officials. That misconception cost him his life. It is our duty to prove to an honest and professional journalist that justice, although slow, is achievable", Matic stated.
In a statement, Matic added that the people closest to Pantic, as well as journalists and the Serbian public have been seeking justice for Milan Pantic for almost twenty years, and that there is no justice because the murder has not been solved, the killers have not been deprived of liberty, and the perpetrators remain anonymous.
He concluded that the Commission reversed the direction of the investigation into this crime, and the Working Group of the Commission headed by Dragan Kecman, the police inspector whose merit shed light on the circumstances under which Slavko Curuvija was killed, came to crucial new findings about the perpetrators of the crimes against Milan Pantic.