Unlawful honorary citizenships must be annulled and the once responsible must be processed

Centre for Civic Education (CCE) filed a request to the Ministry of Interior and Public administration and Supreme State Prosecutor for annulment of 82 decisions on honorary Montenegrin citizenship. In addition, CCE filed a criminal complaint to the Chief Special Prosecutor against several John Does who work in the Ministry of Interior and Public administration.

CCE determined a severe violation of law
by analysing the procedure of acquiring Montenegrin citizenship, in part related to the award of citizenship with reference to Article 12 of Law on Montenegrin citizenship, which stipulates the conditions for the reception of persons of special significance for state, scientific, economic, cultural, sport, and other interest for Montenegro (so called honorary citizenship).

In line with the principle of protection of public interest, CCE used legally prescribed mechanisms to launch the procedure to annul case files, and filed the requests to Minister of Interior Raško Konjević and supreme state prosecutor Ivica Stanković, to render the decisions made after 29/07/2010, namely 82 of them, unlawful. In the case of the award of these citizenships, the ones responsible failed to observe the procedure in the part where the proposal for these persons did not come from authorised proposers – President of state, President of Government, or President of Parliament – as stipulated by the amendments to the Law on Montenegrin citizenship from 2010.

An earlier version of Law on Montenegrin citizenship (prior to the amendments from 2010) allowed state bodies to propose persons for honorary citizenship, and therefore the decisions for the remaining honorary citizenships, in that procedural part, were properly adopted by the end of the July 2010. Of course, given the typical scant nature of these decisions, CCE was able to study other aspects of evaluation of their legality.

Also, CCE filed a criminal complaint to Chief Special Prosecutor Milovoje Katnić against John Does from the Ministry of Interior and Public Administration due to a reasonable doubt that they perpetrated criminal act described in Article 416 of Criminal Code (abuse of official position), in suspended duration.

CCE hopes that competent state bodies will act based on the submitted requests and complaints in order to bring this question within legal frameworks, and simultaneously expressed its regret that one number of these persons with undisputed merits had to be involved in this situation due to the illegal practice of Ministry of Interior.

Boris Marić, Senior Legal Advisor