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The lawyer of the families of victims in the Soko mine submits an appeal to the Constitutional Court

N1: 29. 04. 2024.

Attorney Bratislav Stojanović, who represents the families of eight miners who died on April 1, 2022 in the accident in the “Soko” mine, announced that on Tuesday he will file an appeal to the Constitutional Court against the decision of the Basic Public Prosecutor’s Office in Aleksinac to dismiss the criminal complaint against 14 employees of the Public Enterprise “Resavica”.

Stojanović said that in the appeal he will refer to the violation of Article 32 of the Constitution, which guarantees the right to a fair trial, and in relation to Article 6 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights.

“I believe that the collection of evidence before the Basic Public Prosecutor’s Office in Aleksinac and the Higher Public Prosecutor’s Office in Niš was conducted in an illegal manner because I was not allowed to use my procedural powers, which primarily refer to the supplementary expert examination of the commission of the Faculty of Mining and Geology,” the lawyer told reporters in front of the building of the Higher Public Prosecutor’s Office in Nis.

Stojanović recalled that his proposal to determine what the concentration of methane was during the work of the third shift in the period from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. when the accident occurred was not accepted, although, as he added, the coal mining machines were automatically turned off four times because methane concentration was higher than prescribed.

“The expertise only referred to the concentration of methane at 4:10 a.m. when it was established that there was a sudden increase in the presence of this dangerous gas.” “I believe that during the previous time, the conditions for the evacuation of the miners were met, as was done the previous night,” Stojanović said.

European Court of Human Rights of last resort

He announced that he will ask the Constitutional Court to cancel the prosecution’s decision to dismiss the criminal complaint and return the case to a new trial, or to pay non-material damages in the amount of 50,000 euros per family to the legal followers of the miners who suffered mental pain.

“I have confidence in the domestic judicial authorities, I believe that there are procedural conditions for the Constitutional Court to accept my appeal.” If that does not happen, the last instance for us is the European Court of Human Rights, because Serbia is a member of the Council of Europe and as such recognizes the jurisdiction of this judicial institution,” said the lawyer.

He announced that, in agreement with the families, he will file a new criminal complaint and a lawsuit for compensation for non-material damages in a civil suit against JP “Resavica” because, according to him, civil-legal responsibility is wider than criminal.

New expertise

“Before starting this procedure, we will propose a new expert opinion, but by the mining commission outside of Serbia, most likely from Bosnia and Herzegovina, because we need it in order to file a criminal complaint. Considering that the criminal prosecution expires in four years, we intend to file it against the duty dispatcher who, on the critical night, although the conditions for this were met, did not carry out the evacuation of the workers,” said Stojanović.

In January, the Basic Public Prosecutor’s Office in Aleksinac dismissed the criminal complaint against the former Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia and Minister of Mining and Energy, Zorana Mihajlović, for a serious crime against general security.

Stojanović je prigovor na odluku Osnovnog javnog tužilaštva u Aleksincu o odbacivanju krivične prijave podneo 31. januara, a krajem marta Više javno tužilaštvo odbacilo je i taj prigovor.

Tužilaštvo je do sada tri puta odbacilo prijave za pokretanje krivičnog postupka, uz obrazloženje da „ne postoje osnovi sumnje da je učinjeno krivično delo za koje se goni po službenoj dužnosti“.

U nesreći u rudniku „Soko“ poginuli su rudari Darko Zlatković (43), Nenad Trivunac (37), Petar Petrović (31), Radovan Grujić (47), Branko Čokorilo (57), Branislav Zlatanović (54), Bratislav Živković (59) i Bojan Stajić (34), a 20 rudara je povređeno.

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