Podgorica, (MINA) – The Human Rights Action (HRA) has urged the Constitutional Court to rule, as soon as possible, on the constitutional appeals filed by MPs Nebojsa Medojevic and Milan Knezevic, arguing that this is vital for the functioning of democracy and protection of MPs’ fundamental rights.
The HRA claims that Medojevic has been unlawfully imprisoned and that by ordering their imprisonment for ‘refusal to testify’ the court has violated his and Knezevic’s human rights to personal freedom, fair trail and freedom of expression.
“The penalty of imprisonment was imposed on Medojevic and Knezevic by a court that was not competent to deliver such ruling, because it ruled on an appeal that the state prosecutor did not have the right to file under the Code of Criminal Procedure,” the NGO says in a press statement.
The HRA recalls that the MPs have been penalized on the basis of Article 119 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which provides for a fine or imprisonment if a person ‘refuses to testify within any legal grounds’.
“In the court proceedings against Medojevic, which the HRA has reviewed, it is undeniable that he did accept the invitation to testify and that he did testify about various circumstances, but that he did not disclose one information, namely the identity of the person who convened that information, which is why he has been punished,” the NGO explains.
The HRA argues that, under the given circumstances, the interpretation of the concept of ‘refusal to testify’ is questionable as is the decision to punish a person who has testified about everything he knew except about one piece of information which he may not even know.
The NGO claims that MPs, just like journalists, have the right to protect their sources of information and that, just like journalists, they should not be questioned as witnesses under Article 108 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, that says that a lawyer, a medical worker, a journalist or other persons whose testimony would constitute a breach of professional privilege must not be questioned as witnesses.
Longer version of article is available on a link MINA ENGLISH SERVIS