News 20 Mar 13

Kostunica Slates Montenegro PM's 'Vile' Murder Claim

Serbia's former Prime Minister has rubbished Milo Djukanovic's suggestion that he was linked to the death of a prominent Montenegrin journalist. 

Milena Milosevic
BIRN
Podgorica

Vojislav Kostunica, Serbia's former leader and now an opposition politician, has hit back hard after Montenegro's Prime Minister implicitly linked him to the murder of a prominent Montenegrin journalist.

"I thought... Djukanovic would not be so vile as to rely on murdered people to keep power in the election," he said on Wednesday, referring to Montenegro's upcoming Presidential election.

He was referring also to Djukanovic's suggestion that he was to blame for several murders, including that of journalist Dusko Jovanovic, when he was in power.

Jovanovic, former editor of the opposition daily newspaper Dan, was killed in 2004 in the centre of the capital, Podgorica.

The issue resurfaced in the presidential campaign in Montenegro when Miodrag Lekic, an opposition presidential candidate, on March 10 urged Djukanovic to say who was behind the killing of Jovanovic.

Djukanovic on Monday assigned guilt to “the man... who knows how to set a foreign embassy on fire and has a nasty habit of taking to their deaths those who serve him if he concludes that they might serve him better if they are dead,” he said.

Although not explicitly naming Kostunica, the Montenegrin and Serbian public soon recongised the politician to whom Djukanovic alluded as Kostunica.

This is because he was Serbian Prime Minister in 2008, when rioters set the US embassy in Belgrade on fire following a government-organized rally, protesting at US recognition of Kosovo.

In an interview with Dan, Kostunica said Djukanovic had never mentioned this accusation to him during their meetings in the past.

“Insulting the murdered journalist by stating that I was his employer is a special kind of recklessness,” he added.

The Montenegrin opposition and family of the murdered journalist also condemned Djukanovic’s statements, urging the state prosecution to investigate them and demanding that the Montenegrin Prime Minister state more arguments for his case.

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