“At the suggestion of the chairwoman of the DVT, Zagorka Dolovac, and decided by that body, I was relieved of my duties as deputy public prosecutor in the Second Basic Public Prosecutor’s Office in Belgrade, while I am a member of the DVT. According to that legal logic, “Return to the case,” Milovanovic told the Beta agency today, pointing out that no special procedure has been prescribed for that.
He reminded that this happened when the trial in which he represented the prosecution ended, immediately after his election to the DVT, stating that the presiding judge could have done differently, especially since the decision of the Court of Appeals was yet to come.
He pointed out that “there is no legal obstacle to re-enter the proceedings before the Second Basic Court, until the first instance verdict is passed”, he would also have the right to appeal the verdict if he was not satisfied with it and respond to the appeals of the defense and defendants. .
Asked whether a procedure had been initiated or such an initiative had been given, he said that “the initiative for such a thing was given by the public, which is closely following this case, but also by its commitment at DVT sessions”.
As he reminded, “when the mentioned decision was made (not to represent the prosecution anymore), he presented a different position to the chairman and other members of the DVT, unreservedly offering to continue his engagement in the case”, but “there was no final understanding”. .
He pointed out that he was still “ready to professionally respond to the challenge of that case until the end, ie until the verdict becomes final”, although, as he emphasized, “there are colleagues in the Second Basic Public Prosecutor’s Office who would represent the case equally well”.
He reminded that the public reacted as soon as the media received information that he was no longer the prosecutor in the case of setting fire to the house of journalist Jovanovic, noting that the issue of his repeated actions was raised by revoking the verdict and announcing a retrial.
“I have the impression that the public’s turmoil has led to such a decision being reconsidered, so it is time for the chairwoman to withdraw the move, while my will remains unquestioned and it is aimed solely at raising the reputation of the prosecution. that the victims receive their long-desired justice, “Milovanovic explained.
He answered in the affirmative whether he was aware that the chairman of the Commission for the Investigation of the Murders of Journalists, Veran Matic, had stated that there was agreement among members of the government’s Working Group for the Protection and Safety of Journalists to return to the case.
“I learned this information from the media. I am not surprised by the words of Mr. Veran Matic, who followed this case from the very beginning, writing about it in his texts, often attending the main trials, which, together with other journalists, contributed to this criminal the legal event, of which there is public interest, will be lit by a ‘public spotlight’ “, Milovanovic said.
He added that he believed that “Mr. Matic’s reaction was motivated solely by the fact that during the main trials he probably saw that, as the acting prosecutor, he was best acquainted with all the details of the case, since he ‘created’ carries the burden of that object on his shoulders from the start. ”
“Therefore, it is understandable for him that as a professional I should continue to take him. I assume that his impression, gained in the courtroom arena, is that I am able to bring him to the end,” said Milovanović.
Asked whether he had been contacted by the authorities regarding his return as the acting prosecutor, Milovanovic said that “unfortunately, no one has contacted him yet in this regard.”
“So I don’t know if the public prosecutor’s office will meet the members of the government’s Working Group for the Protection and Security of Journalists. I would like that to happen, to be another bridge that will contribute to strengthening the trust between journalists and prosecutors. of monumental importance for the work of the judiciary as a whole. Journalists and the well-informed public are natural allies of prosecutors and judges, “Milovanovic stressed.
Asked about the revoked verdict, he expressed regret that it happened, but noted that it was done for “purely procedural reasons”.
According to the Court of Appeals as a higher instance, the first instance court did not conduct the procedure properly. Therefore, the three-member panel of the Court of Appeals did not enter into the essence of the criminal event itself, which was the subject of the indictment. returned to the Second Basic Court in Belgrade “, stated Milovanović.
As he said, “these ‘instructions’ should speed up the repeated procedure”, because “this is a given ‘niche’ within which a new judge will have to move in the procedure, since the previous one has retired”, so after correcting procedural shortcomings, the court should have rendered a new judgment.
Milovanovic reminded that the Criminal Procedure Code stipulates that the Court of Appeals will no longer be able to revoke the verdict on appeal, but will have to rule in the eventual second-instance procedure and put an end to the whole case.
He pointed out that it is necessary to get closer to the citizens and make the “rudeness” of the criminal procedure a little more understandable, which he tries to do through his answers to the media, so sometimes, as he says, they are even longer.
“The purpose of clearly prescribed rules of procedure is to ‘protect’ the right from any abuse of the actors. Only by respecting the rules of procedure can a valid verdict be reached, which only then has ‘legal and moral authority’ in public, but also against all participants in the procedure.” , Milovanovic explained.