HomePress Releases and PublicationsTHE COMMISSIONER REQUIRES FROM THE GOVERNMENT TO ENSURE EXECUTION OF ITS RULING IN THE "HELICOPTER"
Wednesday, 26 April 2017 08:18
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The Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection delivered to the Government of Serbia a request to ensure, in accordance with law, execution of the Commissioner’s ruling ordering the Higher Public Prosecutor's Office in Belgrade to provide journalist of “Tango Six” insight into records of the pre-trial procedure conducted after the crash of a helicopter of the Army of Serbia in March 2015, when seven people lost their lives, after which the prosecution made the decision not to prosecute.

Previously, after the Prosecutor’s Office publicly announced after 15 months of the pre-trial procedure that there will be no criminal proceedings, two research teams of journalists – “Tango Six” portal and “the Insider” showed an interest for information on it, for insight into the records or process-verbal signed by the Higher Public Prosecutor, containing the reasons supporting this decision. The Higher Public Prosecutor's Office (HPPO) rejected their requests for access to information, so they filed a complaint with the Commissioner. The Commissioner found that their complaints are justified and made ruling ordering the Prosecution’s Office to make available the requested information to the applicants.

Although it was obliged to comply with the Commissioner's ruling, HPPO failed to do so. Instead, it informed the Commissioner that it “put the proposal” to the Republic Public Prosecutor’s Office (RPPO) to lodge an appeal to annul the Commissioner’s ruling, and that “complying with orders from the Commissioner's ruling is meaningless”!

The claim that the execution of the ruling is “meaningless” has no basis in law. Even if the RPPO lodged an appeal, it, by law, does not by itself would involve a stay of execution of the rulings. A stay of execution, until the completion of appeal procedure, could only be ordered by the court by a special decision.

RPPO failed, within the period when it is possible at all, to lodge an appeal for annulment of the ruling of the Commissioner, but HPPO even after that failed to comply with the order, which is legally binding for it.

The journalist of “Tango Six” portal asked the Commissioner to apply the administrative execution procedure, so the Commissioner firstly informed HPPO about potential fine, and then imposed two fines totalling 200,000 dinars, but even after that the Prosecution’s Office failed to comply with the order in the ruling, therefore, the Commissioner undertook last measure provided for by law and addressed to the Government.

Regardless of the fact that the current practice of the Government indicates that it will not carry out its statutory obligation, the Commissioner will continue to consistently implement the measures set forth by law and whose application is its right and duty.

The Commissioner once again warns that the acting of HPPO represents a gross violation of multiple laws and insult of the public’s right.

Citizens and the public have the indisputable right to information about the work of all public authorities, including information on decisions made by these authorities on the basis of discretionary powers. It is the prosecutor’s right to decide whether or not to prosecute a crime, but it is, as this decision is made in the context of public office, its obligation to make available to the public the grounds on which such a decision is based. The Prosecution’s Office should be aware that failure to comply with this obligation, in this specific case, not only violates the law and does indictable offenses, but also additionally feeds doubts, already present in the public, about the independence, accuracy and legality of its actions.

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Statistics

  • Monthly Statistical Report in the field of Access to Information and Personal Data Protection

    31.5.2017.

    PENDING: 4.256

    DONE: 52.155

    Read more...

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Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection

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Tel: +381 11 3408 900    Fax: +381 11 3343 379
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