Prosecutor’s Office needs to look into the illegal acts and abuses in the municipality of Kolašin

Centre for Civic Education (CCE) today filed a criminal complaint to the State Supreme Prosecution against unknown persons, based on a reasonable doubt they they committed series of criminal acts by abusing their official position, working negligently in service, by using fraud and misguidance as methods in order to gain unlawfull material benefits for themselves and for persons related to them in the municipality of Kolašin.

Namely, during the programme “Friday at 8”, broadcasted on 27 February 2015, on the subject “Merit or party based?”, where focus was on the work of local self-governments, Željka Vuksanović, president of municipality of Kolašin, expressed her concerns that municipality of Kolašin was damaged for more than 10 million EUR due to numerous illegal actions with the elements of criminal legal responsibility. In one part of the programme, she presented the documentation related to invoiced costs for fuel in the amount of 80.000 EUR, based on which it was reasonable to question whether there is a severe violation of law and criminal legal responsibility.

Other than Vuksanović, other guests were: Enes Baković, deputy basic prosecutor in Podgorica; Goran Radonjić, councillor of Democratic Front in the Assembly of Capital; and Boris Marić, senior legal advisor at the CCE.

CCE reminded that all information stated as well as the documentation were disclosed in presence of deputy basic prosecutor in Podgorica. State Prosecution had to undertake necessary, legally based procedures by now, in order to determine complete truth on everything that was publically disclosed, related to management of former administration of municipality of Kolašin. Unfortunately, State Prosecution, as far as CCE knows, failed to undertake any measures and actions regarding this issue.

Therefore, CCE submitted footage of programme which could present the basis and guideline for initiating pre-investigative actions. CCE reminds that president of municipality of Kolašin publically urged Prosecution several times to check the documentation in that municipality, but that Prosecution never did that.

Through the monitoring of the work of municipalities in Montenegro, primarily through project “Corruption on local level – zero tolerance!”, which CCE realised in cooperation with NGO Institute Alternative (IA) from Podgorica, NGO Bonum from Pljevlja and NGO Hope from Herceg Novi, CCE pointed out on series of problems in local self-governments and provided specific proposals for their solutions, but also stimulated local self-governments and citizens to start working and facing those problems themselves.

Consequences, pointed out by project, which Montenegrin municipalities face today, can be prevented with the introduction of systematic control mechanisms, whereas special attention must be drawn to manner and character of disposing local self-government assets, process of adopting final local self-government budget account and annual timely monitoring of budget realisation.

Municipality of Kolašin, unfortunately, is not the only municipality which has many debts, which are the result of inappropriate management of local self-government recources. That is also the case with other municipalities. Hence, it is necessary to improve transparency in all areas, so that the citizens would be able to monitor the work of municipality, and thus be more proactive, while, at the same time, it is necessary to determine particular individual responsibility, for damage caused, for which citizens pay.

Nikola Djonović, programme coordinator