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News 18 Aug 17

Montenegrin Court Seizes Marovic’s Properties

The high court in Podgorica has seized the assets of the former president of Serbia and Montenegro, and those of his family, until an investigation into how he obtained them has ended.

Maja Zivanovic
BIRN
Belgrade

Podgorica. Photo: Wikimedia.

The high court in the Montenegrin capital, Podgorica, has accepted the request of the special prosecutor and blocked the property of the family of former Yugoslav President Svetozar Marovic until an investigation into the origin of the property of the former senior politician, who has been convicted of fraud, has finished.

The Montenegrin daily Vijesti on Friday said that the court had also blocked the property of Marovic's wife Djordjina, of his son, Milos, as well as that of other members of his family.

Marovic's 90-square-metre apartment in the resort of Budva, which he sold for 180,000 euros in mid-July, was also seized.

The total value of Marovic's property, acquired over the last few years while he was employed by the state, has reportedly been estimated at several million euros. It includes luxury property in Budva and Boka Bay, plus companies and a yacht.

A former speaker of the Montenegrin parliament and the last president of the rump Yugoslav state, Marovic pleaded guilty to corruption charges in August 2016 and agreed to serve nearly four years in prison.

The "number-two" figure in Montenegrin politics for years, behind the country's recently-retired veteran prime minister, Milo Djukanovic, Marovic was the first member of the country’s political elite to be sentenced to prison for corruption.

However, he is now at large and is under a red Interpol arrest warrant issued by the Montenegrin authorities.

According to his lawyers, Marovic has been in Belgrade, Serbia, since April 7, undergoing health treatment, although he was supposed to start serving his prison term in Montenegro in May.

Serbian Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic said in June that the Serbian police would act "according to the law" in the Marovic case, after checking the status of the Interpol red notice and establishing his exact location.

Montenegrin Justice Minister Zoran Pazin then said that the arrest depended on the Serbian police and that Podgorica would file a request for his extradition once he was detained.

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