Truth and integrity should catch up with and surpass each other in the work of all state institutions, and the Special State Prosecutor's Office, led by the Chief Special Prosecutor, who, together with the courts, decides on fundamental human rights and freedoms, must be the foundation of the rule of law and a strong pillar of the rule of law. Victims, defendants, and all other citizens have legitimate expectations that the Chief Special Prosecutor always speaks the truth.
By the decision of the Judicial Council, no. 01-3773/22-1, dated December 9, 2022, the request from Vesna Vučković, the acting President of the Supreme Court of Montenegro, for recusal from involvement in the process of appointing a judge of the Administrative Court, was approved. This was due to the stated reason that Vučković is in a godparent relationship with the candidate L.N., who is the spouse of the Chief Special Prosecutor, Vladimir Novović.
The minutes of the VIII session of the Judicial Council held that day are publicly available at the link.
Emphasizing the nature of godparent relationships would be an insult to both our customs and the intelligence of citizens.
How is it possible that the Chief Special Prosecutor states in the announcement that he is not in a godparent relationship with Vesna Vučković, while material evidence indicates otherwise? If Vesna Vučković couldn't make an objective decision regarding the advancement of L.N. due to the godparent relationships, how could Vladimir Novović impartially decide on the appointment of Vesna Vučković as the acting President of the Supreme Court?
Although not all godparent relationships are of the same significance and strength, the attempt to conceal this fact creates a high corruption risk for all proceedings in which the Chief Special Prosecutor, his wife, and the acting President of the Supreme Court of Montenegro could have an interest.
When it comes to the second part of the statement by the Special State Prosecutor's Office, time and judicial practice will show whether prosecutors who are seconded by the Prosecutorial Council at the request of the Chief Special Prosecutor to the Special State Prosecutor's Office for the performance of urgent tasks or an increased workload can have rights, duties, and obligations like special prosecutors appointed by the Prosecutorial Council in the legally prescribed procedure, and who, among other conditions, must have at least 10 years of work experience as state prosecutors, judges, or lawyers. The Agency will provide its assessment through an analysis of regulations from the perspective of corruption risks, which will be publicly available.
We call upon the Chief Special Prosecutor to contribute to the rule of law with their integrity, knowledge, and authority by ensuring that everyone has equal legal protection during the investigation and criminal proceedings. One decision by a Higher Court in an unresolved case is not sufficient guarantee that the rights of citizens who have been involved in proceedings before the Special State Prosecutor's Office in any capacity, and where prosecutors with less than 10 years of prosecutorial, judicial, or advocacy experience are involved, have not been violated.