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news 25 Oct 16

Montenegro PM ‘Feels Safe’ After Alleged Coup Plot

Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic said he feels safe even though the Serbian government claimed it had intelligence showing that the Montenegrin premier had been under threat from alleged coup plotters.

Dusica Tomovic
Montenegrin PM Milo Djukanovic. Photo: BIRN.

Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic said on Tuesday that he felt secure and insisted there was no need to “spread panic among the people” despite the Belgrade authorities’ arrest of alleged Serbian plotters against him.

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said on Monday that the Belgrade authorities have arrested several people who were following Djukanovic and planning illegal activities in Montenegro, but insisted they had no connection to the Serbian state.

Vucic said the people arrested in Serbia following the alleged attempted coup in Montenegro during its recent elections had nothing to do with politicians in either country, but had connections to a third country.

Djukanovic said the investigation in Serbia into the alleged coup plot confirmed what his ruling Democratic Party Socialist said during the election campaign, prior to and on election day on October 16 – that there was a plot to undermine security in the country.

He also claimed that foreigners were involved in the alleged plot.

“We have the strong involvement of foreign factors when it comes to the process of Montenegro's parliamentary elections,” he said.

He said there were suspicions that “illegal money and methods that are beyond all regulations and outside of any legal system” had been used in the alleged plot.

Djukanovic echoed Vucic in saying that “so far there is no clear evidence” that any political parties were involved.

But he also said that it would be a coincidence if the plotters, who allegedly planned to seize parliament on election day and shoot at people, had nothing to do with the Democratic Front, a pro-Russian political alliance in Montenegro which is his main political opponent.

“This is political logic, but it needs time to get things legally prosecuted because it is a process that does not end in a day or in two or three,” he said.

Serbian PM Vucic said that while investigating the alleged plotters, police had seized uniforms and 125,000 euros, among other things, and informed the Special Prosecution in Montenegro. 

On the day of the general election in Montenegro on October 16, a former of the Serbian Gendarmerie commander, Bratislav Dikic, was arrested and accused of planning the alleged coup.

The Montenegrin Prosecutor's Office said last week that it had “reasonable suspicion” that a criminal organisation had been formed in Serbia and Montenegro with a plan to attack the police in front of the parliament once the results of Sunday’s election were announced, before taking over the assembly and declaring that the party of their choice had won the polls.

However, Dikic said on Monday that a Montenegrin policeman had "planted evidence" on him - a phone and keys to a warehouse containing weapons.

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