• AACL

AACL News Advisory



Hon. Joseph J. DioGuardi For Immediate Release

President Contact: (914) 671-8583

Shirley A. Cloyes

Balkan Affairs Adviser


New York, New York – October 13, 2006 – The Albanian American Civic League (www.aacl.com) distributed a public statement from the Prelevic Law firm in Montenegro and other defense attorneys regarding the physical and psychological maltreatment of their clients: 14 Albanian prisoners (including 3 U.S. citizens) arrested in Montenegro on September 9 on suspicion of terrorism. Below, please find the English translation of the statement, which the Montenegrin attorneys sent on October 12 to representatives of Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the Council of Europe. To date, no evidence has been produced or formal charges levied against the Albanian prisoners by the Montenegrin Ministry of the Interior.


The Civic League, along with family members of the prisoners, are calling on the U.S. government and international aide organizations to demand the immediate release of the prisoners, pending further investigation, and a formal statement from the Montenegrin government explaining the charges against the fourteen and the reason for prolonging their detention for another thirty days. The Civic League is also calling for a full investigation into the violation of the civil and human rights of the prisoners.


PUBLIC STATEMENT

OF THE ATTORNEYS AT LAW REPRESENTING PERSONS DEPRIVED OF LIBERTY

IN THE ACTION OF THE MINISTRY OF INTERIOR OF

THE REPUBLIC OF MONTENEGRO

“EAGLE’S FLIGHT” ON 9 September 2006


Podgorica,12 October 2006


Taking into account the immense media pressure directed against our clients also representing violation of presumption of their innocence, as well as massive violation of their human rights in the criminal procedure so far conducted, we have been forced to, with full consideration of the confidentiality of the procedure, inform the competent official bodies and the general public of the following:


1. All our clients have been physically and psychologically maltreated while in police detention. On the course of three days they have been subjected to beatings, threats, humiliation and denial of food and water. They have personally informed the investigating judge in the presence of the special state prosecutor of the above and their statements have been entered into the records of the court hearing. We have also additionally filed criminal complaints on their behalf against the unidentified police officials for the criminal acts Extortion of Statement (Art. 166, Criminal Code of the Republic of Montenegro) and Maltreatment and Torture (Art. 167, Criminal Code of the Republic of Montenegro). Noting that no action has to date been undertaken regarding those complaints, we hereby appeal that the investigation is efficiently performed and perpetrators punished.


2. Our clients’ rights to fair trial and defense have been seriously endangered by inequality of defense and the special prosecutor. The defense attorneys have been denied access to some of the most important documents on file and therefore the preparation and performance of defense has been seriously hindered. All this occurs when the defendants have already been detained for more than a month on the basis of decisions supported by such, undisclosed, evidence.


3. Due to illegal acts of the police officers during search as well as with regard to our clients, the case files contain a certain number of illegally obtained evidence. Although we have requested elimination of such evidence from the case files in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Act of the Republic of Montenegro, the court has not decided on the request and therefore the illegally obtained evidence is still being used in the procedure.


4. We are also emphasizing the unjustifiably long period of performance of the proposed investigative measures (none of which should require for more then a week) when all defendants are detained, and when for majority of them there is no evidence, or even no indications that they performed the criminal acts suspected of.


Attorneys at Law


1. Mr. Rajko Bozovic

2. Mr. Miodrag Bojanic

3. Mr. Branimir Jovicevic

4. Ms. Ranka Perovic

5. Mr. Borivoje Djukanovic

6. Mr. Novak Lakovic

7. Mr. Hamid Ganjola

8. Mr. Aleksandar Vojinovic,

9. Mr. Radomir Prelevic, Ph.D.


of the following defendants deprived of liberty on 9 September 2006 in the Montenegrin police action “Eagle’s Flight”:


1. Mr. Anton Sinistaj

2. Mr. Djon Devdukaj

3. Mr. Sokolj Ivanovic

4. Mr. Djordje Ivanovic

5. Mr. Marko Ivanovic

6. Mr. Nikola Ljekocevic

7. Mr. Kolja Dedvukaj

8. Mr. Rok Dedvukaj

9. Mr. Pjetr Dedvukaj

10. Mr. Djon Dedvukovic

11. Mr. Viktor Sinistaj

12. Mr. Zef Berisaj

13. Mr. Vaso Koljcevic

14. Mr. Viktor D

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Email: jjd@aacl.com   Tel: 914-762-5530