Centre for Civic Education (CCE) today filed an amendment to the requests to Higher State Prosecution regarding the review of the decision of Basic State Prosecutor Vukas Radonjić who dismissed a part of the criminal complaint of CCE from 23/01/2015 against Sanja Vlahović, minister of science, related to a reasonable suspicion that she committed a criminal offense of unauthorised use of copyright and fraud, due to the alleged statute of limitation of the act itself.
In the amendment, CCE clearly indicated that in this specific case there are elements of prolonged criminal offense or new criminal offense, and that there is certainly no room for the statute of limitation and legal dismissal of criminal complaint.
Current prosecutor Radonjić stated through print media several positions that directly point to the unprofessional and inadequate relation towards the criminal complaint against a public official. Namely, the complaint has been substantiated with arguments from the start, and current prosecutor, in a statement to daily “Pobjeda”, clarified that “Prosecution did not delve into the assessment of grounds of allegations of criminal complaint.” Following questions arise then: how was the Prosecution able to determine the character of respective criminal offense and based on what it made its decisions, as well as what did the current prosecutor do for eight months since the submission of the complaint; why did he mislead the submitters and the public that he was dealing with the complaint; and whether someone influenced the prosecutor inappropriately in order to try to put an end on this case in this manner?
CCE invested additional efforts to alert Prosecution about the facts that are sufficient to draw the conclusion in that specific case that there can not be any relative statute of limitations. In that regard, CCE sent to the Prosecution a part of evidence which unambiguously indicates the existence of consequence of criminal offense, as well as the fact of prolonged or continuous criminal offense.
CCE assesses that the Prosecution had to determine certain parts of evidence that this paper was used even after it was published and that the same caused and continues to cause (in)direct consequence. Specifically, Bulletin of the University of Mediterranean, no.24, from May 2011 (http://unimediteran.net/fajlovi/bilteni/24.pdf) contains one of the evidence that case paper was stated as a reference which contributed to the adoption of positive Decision of Senate of University on the award of academic title – associate professor – for Sanja Vlahović, PhD, no. R-756/3-11 from 01/07/2011.
Furthermore, the author of disputed part of the paper of Sanja Vlahović prof. Dimitrios Buhalis confirmed on his blog on 17 November 2014 (http://buhalis.blogspot.com/2014/11/plagiarism-of-my-article-by-dr-sanja.html) that the consequence took place and highlighted “Intellectual theft of ideas and theories is unacceptable in modern society…” and that he “… would expect from the Minister of Science to be ethical and qualified especially when her academic credentials are integral part of her position…”.
Finally, fact is that minister Vlahović even today at the official site of the University of Mediterranean http://ftht.unimediteran.net/fajlovi/CV_MNE/CV_SANJA_VLAHOVIC_MNE.pdf, at which she teaches, holds that as her paper, regardless of reasonable suspicions that the paper has been plagiarized, and that with the continued use of that paper as a reference for the appointments to academic titles and for other purposes is committing a criminal offense in prolonged duration or new criminal offense which excludes every form of statute of limitation, especially the one which he stated in his decision.
CCE expresses regret because of the fact that Prosecution missed an opportunity in current procedure to deal with this criminal complaint in its essence, based on which it harmed the public interest and Vlahović, because in this manner it does not allow us to come to the truth. CCE emphasises that Prosecution failed to determine that this is not the plagiarism, and instead tried to protect minister Vlahović with “legal gymnastics”, based on which it actualised again one of the basic reprimands of not just Montenegrin, but also relevant international stakeholders, which relates to the inability of Prosecution to process high state officials, thereby creating the impression of impunity of those who are at highest state functions.
Daliborka Uljarević, Executive Director