A court in the capital city of Podgorica has sentenced Ivan Buskovic, 29, to nine months in prison for assault and battery on journalist Olivera Lakic of the daily Vijesti.
The sentence was handed down on 20 July. Lakic had identified Buskovic as her attacker. But the trial did not lead to the discovery of the motive for the assault, or the names of whoever was behind it. A new investigation should be ordered to resolve those questions.
Lakic remains under police protection. She has halted her journalistic work.
09.03.2012 - Attack on her way home puts investigative reporter in hospital
Reporters Without Borders deplores the violent attack two days ago on Olivera Lakic, an investigative reporter with the Montenegro daily Vijesti, while she was on her way home.
“For months the newspaper has been under pressure and its journalists regularly receive threats,” the press freedom organization said.
“There were three arson attacks on cars owned by the newspaper in July and August last year. The latest act is a totally unacceptable and raises questions about the protection of investigative journalists in Montenegro.”
Lakic was entering the building where she lives in the capital Podgorica when an unidentified attacker hit her on the head four or five times before fleeing. She was taken to hospital where she was kept in overnight, although doctors said she suffered no serious injuries.
Police briefly detained two suspects. Investigators said they had been unable to establish any link between them and journalist. The chief of police, Bozidar Vuksanovic, condemned the attack, saying the police were doing all they could to find the perpetrator.
Last year the journalist published a series of articles on a factory that makes counterfeit cigarettes in Mojkovac, in central Montenegro. Last February she and some members of her family received threats. Two men are currently on trial charged with making the threats.
The attack occurred just a few days after neighbouring Serbia was granted the status of candidate for membership of the European Union. Montenegro, which also hopes to join the EU, is still in 107th place out of 179 in the 2011-2012 world press freedom index compiled by Reporters Without Borders.
(Photo : Hetq.am)