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Montenegro 'coup plot' staged to jail anti-NATO opposition

 
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Whitehall_Bin_Men
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:38 pm    Post subject: Montenegro 'coup plot' staged to jail anti-NATO opposition Reply with quote

coup was staged by the authorities to ensure Djukanovic won another election.
https://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/russians-face-trial-over-coup -plot-in-montenegro-09-05-2017

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Whitehall_Bin_Men
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Montenegro Parliament Strips Opposition Leader of Immunity
https://www.voanews.com/a/montenegro-coup-attempt/3725840.html

Last Updated: February 15, 2017 5:01 PM Reuters
Montenegro riot police guard the Parliament building during an anti-government protest in Podgorica, Montenegro, Feb. 15, 2017. Montenegrin lawmakers voted on Wednesday to lift the immunity of a key opposition leader allegedly involved in a pro-Russian plot to overthrow the government over its NATO bid.
Montenegro riot police guard the Parliament building during an anti-government protest in Podgorica, Montenegro, Feb. 15, 2017. Montenegrin lawmakers voted on Wednesday to lift the immunity of a key opposition leader allegedly involved in a pro-Russian plot to overthrow the government over its NATO bid.
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PODGORICA
Montenegro's parliament voted on Wednesday to strip an opposition leader of immunity, paving the way for the public prosecutor to question him as part of an investigation into an alleged Russian-backed plot to overthrow the government.

On election day last October, authorities arrested 20 people accused of planning armed attacks against state institutions and a foiled plot to assassinate of the former prime minister Milo Djukanovic in order to bring an opposition figure to power.

The special prosecutor said the alleged coup was backed by Russian nationalists.

Forty-two deputies allied with Djukanovic's coalition in the 81-seat parliament voted to strip Andrija Mandic, leader of the opposition Democratic Front, and his ally Milan Knezevic, of immunity upon the request of the special prosecutor.

The 39 opposition lawmakers have boycotted parliament since the election and the arrests.

The opposition says the plot was fabricated and accuses Djukanovic of using the security services to help extend his quarter century of dominance over Montenegro. It rejected the election results, accusing the government of a climate of fear.

With the boycott and the prospect of arrest warrants for the two opposition figures, analysts say the former Yugoslav republic is facing its biggest crisis since independence in 2006, with the possibility of growing demonstrations in protest.

Around 100 opposition supporters gathered in front of the parliament on Wednesday to protest against parliament's vote.

Both, Mandic and Knezevic are outspoken advocates of closer ties with Russia and oppose the country's NATO membership.

Before the vote, Djukanovic said Russia was financing the opposition in order to derail Montenegro's imminent NATO membership. Opposition parties, many also pro-NATO, deny this.

The Adriatic republic of 620,000 people has strong economic and traditional ties with Russia, another predominantly Orthodox Christian country. But relations cooled in recent years especially after Montenegro introduced sanctions against Russia over the conflict in Ukraine, embracing EU policies.

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'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
http://aangirfan.blogspot.com
http://aanirfan.blogspot.com
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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TonyGosling
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Coup Trial of 2 Russians, 12 Others Opens in Montenegro
Two alleged Russian secret service operatives have been described as the main organizers of a foiled bid to overthrow Montenegro's government last year.
https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2017-09-06/coup-trial-of-2- russians-12-others-opens-in-montenegro

Sept. 6, 2017, at 11:53 a.m.

Coup Trial of 2 Russians, 12 Others Opens in Montenegro

The Associated Press
A man wearing a shirt showing a picture of Russian President Vladimir Putin stands by Montenegro police officers guarding the entrance to the court building during the trial in Podgorica, Montenegro, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017. The trial has opened of 14 alleged coup plotters, including two Russians, suspected of a foiled bid to overthrow the Montenegrin government to thwart the Balkan country's NATO bid. (AP Photo/Risto Bozovic) The Associated Press


By PREDRAG MILIC, Associated Press

PODGORICA, Montenegro (AP) Two alleged Russian secret service operatives were described as the main organizers of a foiled bid to overthrow Montenegro's government last year as the trial of 14 suspected coup plotters opened in the small Balkan country on Wednesday.

The defendants are charged with "creating a criminal organization" with the aim of undermining Montenegro's constitutional order and thwarting the pro-Western government's bid to join NATO.

The two Russians are additionally charged with terrorism. The pair, identified as Eduard Shishmakov and Vladimir Popov, allegedly coordinated the Oct. 16 coup attempt from neighboring Serbia. They were allowed to leave Serbia for Russia and are being tried in absentia.

The prosecutor alleged the two were military intelligence operatives for the Kremlin. Shishmakov was a deputy military attache at the Russian embassy in Warsaw, but was declared persona non grata in June 2014 because Polish authorities believed he was involved in spying.

Russia has denied involvement in the alleged plot. Montenegro joined NATO in June as the Western military alliance's 29th member, despite strong opposition from Moscow, which considers the small Adriatic country a historic Slavic ally and is opposed to NATO's enlargement.

The twice-delayed trial began at a high court in the capital, Podgorica, with the reading of an indictment. It alleged the defendants, most of them Serbs, planned to take over parliament on election day, assassinate then-Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic and to install pro-Russian, anti-NATO leadership.

The indictment also alleges the two Russians organized and coordinated the group, supplying encrypted cellphones and 200,000 euros ($239,000) that went partly toward the purchase of 50 machine guns, 50 pistols and "a large quantity of ammunition."

The Russians "have organized a criminal organization, with the intent to conduct criminal acts," the indictment said. "Each member of the organization had a specific role, and the organization was ready to conduct acts of violence and intimidation, knowing that their actions are completely illegal. "

The plan reportedly failed after one of the defendants, who later became a protected witness, changed his mind and decided to speak to Montenegrin authorities.

Former Serbian special police commander Bratislav Dikic pleaded not guilty to the charges that he was a key plotter who collaborated with the two Russians.

"I state with full responsibility that I was not aware of the existence of a criminal organization," Dikic told the court. "I don't know any Russians."

The defendants also include two pro-Serb Montenegrin opposition leaders who denounced the proceedings as a "staged trial."

"Someone at the prosecutor's office will be held responsible for this charade one day," Andrija Mandic, one of the indicted opposition leaders, said as he entered the courthouse.

About 100 opposition supporters gathered in front of the court on Wednesday to protest the trial.

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