On May 19th 2016, after 2 years and 2 months of avoiding the proceedings by the defendant, first hearing was held in the trial against Radomir Pocuca for the crime of endangering the safety of activists of Women in Black. At this hearing were presented the opening statements of the accused and his lawyer and the prosecutor and the attorney of the victims, and hearing of the accused. The accused was initially pleaded not guilty.
In his defense he made a number of allegations, which have no connection with the subject of a a case for which he is on trial, referring to the work of NGOs, the war in Kosovo, etc. Judge Tatjana Sretenović during the entire hearing was arrogant towards prosecutor and attorney of the victims. On the other hand she did not respond to inappropriate gestures and comments of the defendants lawyer.
After victims attorney asked defendant to explain what is the meaning of his statement which is the subject of criminal proceedings, "...hit in the cunt" the judge inappropriately responded, laughing, in which she was accompanied by the lawyer of the defendant. Despite the judge continued with hearing, they continue giggling for few minutes. Considering that those words are crucial part of statement and that they constitute “a threat that will attack the life or body “(Article 138, paragraph 1 Criminal Code), the behavior of Judge is an insult to the victims, as well as elementary lack of respect for the court.
In response to that question, the defendant gave an answer that for him this term means "to give few slaps in the face", which can be interpreted that he implicitly plead guilty referred to "an attack on the life or body " in the sense of Art. 138, paragraph 1 of the Criminal Code.
The judge has repeatedly stated that she "does not understand the technical things," and called on the prosecutor to "explain things, because he is from the office for high-tech crime". This statement can be seen as part of her arogant attitude towards the prosecutor, but it remains a concern that the judge has no knowledge about the things which are essential for this criminal proceedings, particularly bearing in mind that one of the "arguments" of defense is that defendant threats were part of a "private conversations" and not a public announcement.
The highlight of arrogance that the judge showed in relation to the prosecutor was her aggressive insistence that he explain, "why are listed as victims only 3 activists of Women in Black, and not 33 or as much as there are activists of the group?". This fact has not procedural or substantialy relevant to the proceedings and it is unclear why the judge insists on this point. With the end of the hearing off the defendant, this hearing was completed.
The next hearing, at which victims Stasa Zajovic, Ljiljana Radovanovic and Violeta Đikanović should testify is scheduled for July 19th 2016.
Mirko Medenica, May 20th 2016