22 Sep 2020 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 13 Apr 2016 n° 46/2016 Montenegro

Freelance Journalist and Fixer Jovo Martinovic Tried for “Being a Member of a Criminal Organization”

Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner RSF Article 19 CPJ ECPMF EFJ/IFJ
Partner RSF Article 19 CPJ ECPMF EFJ/IFJ
Mr. Jovo Martinovic worked as a non-exclusive part-time fixer for a French documentary film “The Route of the Kalashnikov”, aired in France on Canal+ on 4 January 2016. The film examines the illegal flow of weapons from Balkans. Part of Mr. Martinovic job involved helping trace underground weapons networks and included interacting with members of these criminal groups in the Balkans. Mr. Martinovic was arrested on 22 October 2015 in relation to this assignment. He is accused of being a member of a criminal organization and of trafficking drug. The arrest warrant was issued by High court in Podgorica after the request of the Special State Prosecutor's office. On 12 April 2016, he still was in custody, waiting for his indictment and trial. Mr. Martinovic has worked with several international media outlets including The Economist (UK), the Financial Times (UK) and M6 (France).
New 22 Sep 2020
On 15 September 2020, the High Court of Podgorica concluded the retrial of Jovo Martinović and announced that the verdict would be announced on 8 October.
04 Nov 2019
On 24 October 2019, the Court of Appeal in Podgorica quashed journalist Jovo Martinović’s 18-month jail sentence, stating that the prosecution failed to prove that he committed any crime or to produce enough hard evidence to justify a prison sentence. His retrial is expected to start within a few weeks.
15 Jan 2019
On 15 January 2019, the Higher Court in Podgorica sentenced Jovo Martinovic to 1.5 years in prison for alleged “drug trafficking and membership in a criminal organisation”. The journalist rejected the charges which he considers politically motivated. The verdict was condemned by international media freedom organisations and organisations of journalists. Jovo Martinovic announced that he would appeal the verdict.
09 Jan 2017
On 5 January 2017, journalist Jovo Martinović was released pending trial. The Court ordered Martinović to check in with police twice a month, and confiscated his passport. As a consequence, the alert was changed to level 2.
State replies
07 Dec 2016
Reply from Montenegro provided by the Ministry of Justice
09 Jan 2017
OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media welcomes release of Montenegrin journalist and calls for conclusion of his case

Key information :

Jovo Martinovic

A freelancer journalist whose work has often focused organised crime in the Balkans. Martinovic has worked with several international publications including The Economist, Newsday, Global Post, The Financial Times and VICE, in addition to winning several international awards.
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