Magazine article Europe-East

Stability Pact Support for Court Action on Trafficking

Magazine article Europe-East

Stability Pact Support for Court Action on Trafficking

Article excerpt

A case of human trafficking in Podgorica (Montenegro), where a 28-year old Moldovan national surrendered herself to police authorities in November 2002, has made too many media headlines, while the proceedings of the judiciary have not made progress, according to Helga Konrad concluded after several weeks of heated exchanges. In her capacity as Chair of the Stability Pact's Task Force on Trafficking in Human Beings, Konrad recalled that Montenegro, along with all South Eastern European countries, has committed itself to effectively fight human trafficking. Apart from safeguarding the security of victims, this includes the rigorous dismantling of criminal networks and the prosecution of traffickers and their collaborators.

So on February 10 Konrad called on the Montenegrin authorities, especially the judiciary, " to do no more and no less than putting into practice these commitments undersigned by Montengro". She said she wants a shift from the media to the courthouse: "I call upon all those responsible in Montenegro to institute court proceedings in the given case of human trafficking. Only a fair court trial can bring the truth to light. Any comments, allegations or even threats on the part of government officials, party representatives etc. are no substitute for a fair trial. They only intimidate and undermine the independence of the judiciary. What we expect is, that no pressure of any kind is brought to bear on the independent judiciary and that they can start to work. …

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