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Montenegro's prime minister says he supports a parliamentary probe into the telecom corruption scandal, but believes the case should first be handled by the courts.
Prime Minister Igor Luksic told Montenegrin daily Dan that while the government would support a parliamentary inquiry, it believed that the judiciary should determine whether or not state officials accepted bribes during the privatization of the country's telecommunications company.
Luksic said that on questions of corruption, "the judicial system should act first".
The premier's statement came a day after part of the Montenegrin opposition proposed a parliamentary probe into the corruption allegations.
While the move was supported by MPs from the ruling parties of the Democratic Party of Socialists, DPS, and the Social Democratic Party, SDP, they said that parliament should not begin an investigation until the prosecution had launched its own probe.
The country's state prosecutor for organised crime and corruption promised last week to launch an investigation into the bribery scandal.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission last week reached a settlement with Deutsche Telekom and Magyar Telecom over allegations of corruption during the privatization of Montenegro and Macedonia's state telecoms firms.
In its complaint filed against the firms, the US alleged that the companies had paid Montenegrin officials some €7.35 million in order to facilitate the acquisition of the country's telecommunications company on favorable terms.
Deutsche Telekom and Magyar Telekom reached a deal with the US agency on December 29 and agreed to pay $95 million to settle allegations that they violated corruption regulations in their dealings in Montenegro and Macedonia.
Montenegro's organised crime prosecutor said on Thursday that she would investigate allegations of bribery during the sale of the country's telecom.
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