Raonic was illegally elected a second time; Camović Veličković: Only the Council can file an appeal

It was announced on the public service portal that RTCG will file an appeal against the verdict. The basic court found that Raonic was in a conflict of interest at the time of the announcement of the public tender, which must be a limiting factor, so he cannot be appointed general director of RTCG according to the public tender in question.

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President of the Council Drljević and Raonic, Photo: BORIS PEJOVIC
President of the Council Drljević and Raonic, Photo: BORIS PEJOVIC
Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate.

The basic court in Podgorica found that Boris Raonic was illegally elected as the general director of Radio Television of Montenegro (RTCG) in June last year.

The decision to re-appoint Raonic was annulled following a lawsuit by the director of Radio Television (RTV) Nikšić, Nikola Marković, and the public service was ordered to re-appoint the general director under the conditions of the public competition from June 2021, within 15 days of the verdict becoming final.

Yesterday, the vice-president of the RTCG Council, Marijana Camović Veličković, asked her colleagues to convene an emergency session to discuss the topic.

It was announced on the public service portal yesterday that RTCG will file an appeal against the decision of the Basic Court, and Camović Veličković assessed that the decision to file an appeal can only be made by the Council, by whose decision Raonic was illegally elected director for the second time.

Camović Velićković
Camović Velićkovićphoto: Luka Zeković

In the explanation of the verdict, the Basic Court states that when making the aforementioned decision, the defendant was obliged to assess the factual situation, which derives from the documentation submitted by the candidates for the public competition in question during the first application, and exclusively the factual situation that existed in relation to each of the candidates at the time of publication of the competition.

"At the time of the announcement of the public competition in question, Boris Raonić, at the time of application for the public competition and appointment as general director, was a member of the Council of the Agency for Electronic Media (SAEM), i.e. he was a public official appointed by the Parliament, which is contrary to by provision of Art. 29 st. 1 point. 2 of the Law on the National Public Broadcaster RTCG", the explanation reads.

It is stated that this provision stipulates that members of the Council cannot be persons elected, appointed or appointed by the President, the Assembly and the Government.

"The court points to the provision of Art. 50 paragraph 5 of the same Law, which prescribes that a person who, according to this Law, cannot be a member of the Council cannot be appointed as the General Director of RTCG. The same factual situation was the basis for the final judgment of this court P. no. 3110/21 of January 4, 1, when the first RTCG decision of August 2023, 6, which appointed Raonic as general director, was annulled as illegal," the explanation reads.

The Basic Court found that Raonic was in a conflict of interest at the time of the announcement of the public tender, which must be a limiting factor, so he cannot be appointed general director of RTCG according to the public tender in question.

"The decision in question on the appointment of Raonic is illegal and because it does not contain a valid explanation, that is, the criteria that prevailed in favor of the chosen candidate, i.e. the reasons that decided to give support to the chosen candidate, were not stated," the Basic Court announced.

However, the basic court rejected Marković's claim, in the part in which it was requested that a re-appointment for general director be carried out among the remaining candidates from that competition, but that Raonic should not be one of them.

"The court does not have the authority to 'eliminate', that is, 'kick out' any of the registered candidates to decide on his election. That is not the jurisdiction of this court. Those powers, in the specific case, were given to the defendant, that is, to his body, the RTCG Council, which makes the decision on the selection from among all the candidates. What the court has the authority to do is, as in the specific case, to annul the defendant's decision made on the subject competition, when it finds that it was not made in accordance with the law, after which such a decision does not produce legal effect due to its finality, so it is the defendant's right the re-election of one of all those candidates who were registered for the competition in question, while the reasons given by the court in the judgment by which it annulled the decision should certainly be taken into account", it is stated. The court concludes that this is also a legal consequence of the annulment of the decision.

On May 10 last year, the High Court in Podgorica confirmed the verdict of the Basic Court that the general director of RTCG Boris Raonic was in a conflict of interest when he was elected to that position in August 2021 because he had already been appointed by the Assembly to another public position - a member of SAEM .

The court made a legally binding decision, and also based on the claim of the candidate Nikola Marković, that according to the Law on the National Public Broadcaster, the fact that Raonic already holds public office was a nuisance, so the legal consequence is - annulment of the decision on the election of Raonic, re-election among the registered candidates or annulment of the competition. Despite this, the Council of RTCG appointed Raonic as director again in June.

The non-governmental organization Media Centar subsequently filed a criminal complaint against the president and members of the Council of RTCG Veselin Drljević and members Filip Lazović, Naod Zorić, Predrag Miranović and Amina Murić on suspicion that they refused to execute a final and enforceable court verdict and enabled the elected general director to obtain illegal benefits. Raonic. In the Special State Prosecutor's Office (STP), that case was merged with another criminal case against Raonic, legal service representative Želimir Mićović and RTCG lawyer Zorica Đukanović, due to suspicion that they abused their official position by inciting members of the Council.

The SDT previously told "Vijesta" that the decision in that case has not yet been made, as they are following the appropriate proceedings before the Supreme Court of Montenegro. Those decisions, as the SDT spokesman said, are important for deciding on criminal charges as well. Meanwhile, apart from the Basic Court, the Supreme Court also refused to review the decision of the High Court according to which Raonic was illegally appointed in August 2021 to that position.

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