danasCommissioner Sabic wrote to authorities about the material regarding Djindjic's murder back in 2008


Belgrade – The Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection, Rodoljub Sabic, has drawn attention of the Government of the Republic of Serbia to the illegality of its actions regarding requests of journalists to be granted access to the full material of the Commission which had been investigating omissions in the security of the Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic before the assassination.

As is well known, the Constitutional Court has recently ordered the Government of the Republic of Serbia to give a statement regarding the confidentiality of these documents. The whole story was initiated by Mirjana Jevtovic, journalist of the Insider and B92, who back in 2008 submitted a complaint to the Commissioner Sabic on occasion of the refusal of the Government of the Republic of Serbia to make the documentation available to her. Although the Commissioner dismissed the complaint as he is not mandated to deal with complaints against the Government (because only a court can do that), Rodoljub Sabic nevertheless forwarded a letter to the then Secretary General of the Government, Tamara Stojcevic, in which he pointed out the irregularities and stressed that he was doing that because the Government of the Republic of Serbia should be an example to others in respect of compliance with legislation.

Sabic pointed out that pursuant to the Law on Free Access to Information an authority, including the Government of the Republic of Serbia, shall act upon the request within 15 days, in this case the request of journalist Jevtovic. ''This means that the requested information i.e. documents, i.e. copies of the said documents, should be made available to the requester, or the request rejected, within that period, in the manner foreseen under the law.

According to Sabic's interpretation, the request of the journalist of the Insider was not lawfully rejected because neither the Ruling on rejection was passed, consequently the reason for rejection was not given, nor was it indicated that a lawsuit may be filed on the grounds of rejection.

Informal reasoning that "the report was available to the public'' does not comply with the statutory condition to specify the information medium, i.e. where the report was published.

- Reference to the fact that the remaining documents are ''kept as working material classified as confidential", could also be relevant, but only in conjunction with the legal requirement that it has been evaluated that the publication of the documents would lead to serious consequences that outweigh the right to know, is also written in Sabic's letter.

Entrefile : About a part of the working material

Zarko Korac, who was the Head of the Commission for Investigation of the Security System of Zoran Djindjic, has recently in an interview to the newspapers Danas said that a part of what is called ''working material'' of the Commission has been returned to the Security Intelligence Agency. As a concrete example of the returned documents he listed the transcripts of intercepted conversations of the members of the Zemun clan three months before Djindjic's assassination.

Korac has said that there are parts of the material which refer to the work of security services which every country in the world protects with confidentiality. He has, however, noted that there are transcripts in relation to almost 40 people who have been questioned by the Commission, and estimated that their publication would be useful to the public because it would have an insight into the Commission's conclusion that there was no conspiracy within the Prime Minister's security.