Court of Appeal in Belgrade

Bizarre reason given for halting procedure again in arson attack on journalist’s home

May 31, 2021

The Court of Appeal in Belgrade is still unable to start considering appeals against the first-instance verdict for the arson attack on the home of journalist Milan Jovanović, which took place in December 2019, because the court that brought the initial verdict is unable to determine whether the appeals of all participants in the case were submitted prior to the expiry of the legal deadline.

There’s no doubt that all parties in the process received the verdict, because appeals were attached to them. However, there has been no confirmation that the appeals were written in a timely manner, as there are no postal return receipts testifying to the date when the parties received the judgement and whether they submitted their appeals on time.

Investigations are now determining whether the return receipts were lost in transit or never arrived.

Jovanović’s lawyer, Ana Matić, told Cenzolovka that insight into the case enabled her to determine that the return receipts had been misplaced: “The return receipts were lost, so the court is now unable to determine the timeliness of the appeals. The court has requested a report from Post of Serbia [the Serbia postal service].”

And while the entire procedure has reached a deadlock, Dragoljub Simonović, the former president of the Municipality of Grocka who was convicted in the first-instance, is announcing his candidacy for the Belgrade mayoral race, giving interviews and claiming that the house of that journalist wasn’t burned down.