28 May 15
Foes of Montenegrin Independence ‘Planned to Kill Bishop’
Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic claimed that opponents of the country’s independence in 2006 planned to assassinate the leading Serbian bishop, to discredit the independence idea.
Prime Minister Djukanovic on Wednesday revealed that the security services had information that opponents of Montenegrin independence planned to murder the leading Serbian cleric in the country – a passionate oponent of independence – to discredit the independence cause.
He said the plan was to kill the Serbian Orthodox Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral, Amfilohije, just ahead of the independence referendum in 2006.
“We had security sensitive information that opponents of independence would try to assassine Amfilohije – to reinforce claims about the untrustworthy security of Montenegro and the alleged unscrupulousness of the government,” Djukanovic told parliament during the regular “Prime Minister’s hour”.
He revealed the confidential information in response to a question from an opposition MP about the murder of the editor of the daily Dan newspaper, Dusko Jovanovic, 11 years ago.
Jovanovic, the editor and owner of the newspaper and well known for his opposition to the government, was shot dead while leaving his office in Podgorica on May 27, 2004. He had received numerous death threats.
Damir Mandic was jailed for 18 years for the killing in 2009 as an accomplice to the crime. The verdict was overturned in July 2014, however, forcing a new trial.
Mandic is the only perpetrator to be convicted in relation to the murder. The masterminds behind the crime remain at large.
Djukanovic said he did not feel to blame for the fact that the editor’s murder remains unsolved yet, adding that the killing had nothing to do with the state authorities.
“I did my best to contribute to shedding light on this case. Both the prosecution and the judiciary had maximum support from the executive power. Unfortunately, there hasn’t yet been an epilogue to this story, and the evidence for closing this case is still missing,” he added.
Responding to a question about who stood to benefit from the murder, Djukanovic said that it could be those “who used Dan and its director and editor-in-chief” to try to change the government through violent destabilization.
Source: Balkan Insight (Montenegro)