According to Balkan Insight, Martinovic was released on Wednesday after having spent 16 months in pre-trial detention because of his journalistic work which allegedly linked him to criminal organisations.
The release of Jovo Martinovic is a first and important step into the right direction. The next one should be to drop all charges against him. Martinovic did neither commit nor support crimes – but did an important job as investigative journalist who uncovered them. His role as journalist must be finally taken into consideration in the upcoming court hearing”,
says Michelle Trimborn, spokesperson of the ECPMF.
ECPMF supported Jovo Martinovic’s case with 1,000 euros to cover a part of his legal expenses and to defend him against the accusations.
As reported earlier, Martinovic was arrested in October 2015 as consequence of his investigative research. He was charged with drug trafficking and membership of a criminal organisation when he tried to expose organized crimes across the Balkan countries. His investigations brought him in close contact with persons involved in drug trafficking rings as well as members of the “Pink Panthers”, an international network of jewelry thieves.
The prosecution by the Montenegrin state as well as the unjustified and long pre-trial detention was highly criticised by ECPMF and other media freedom and human rights organisations as Martinovic emphasized his innocence and – as a well-known and respected investigative journalist – could convincingly state that the contacts were part of his investigation.