Montenegero State Prosecutor Cleared of Bribe Claims


News
11 Dec 14

Montenegero State Prosecutor Cleared of Bribe Claims

The prosecutor’s office has dismissed opposition MPs’ claims that the new Supremem State Prosecutor, Ivica Stankovic, took hefty bribes while serving as a judge.

Dusica Tomovic
BIRN

Podgorica

The Montenegrin Prosecutor’s Office on Wednesday ruled that its new boss, Ivica Stankovic, has committed no criminal offences in the past related to bribery.

For two months, the prosecution has probed Stankovic’s affairs after two opposition politicians accused him of bribery.

MPs Koca Palvlovic and Velizar Kaludjerovic claimed they had “reliable information” that while Stankovic was a Supreme Court judge, he took 150,000 euros in bribes in a single case.

The two politicians “do not possess concrete facts that Supreme State Prosecutor Ivica Stankovic has committed any criminal offence. The members of parliament did not provide valid evidence to support their claims,” the prosecution said on Wednesday.

After an 18-month delay and four failed votes in parliament, the a former Supreme Court Judge was elected Supreme State Prosecutor in early October.

Stankovic had the support of MPs from the governing coalition of Milo Djukanovic’s Democratic Party of Socialists, DPS and the Social Democrats, SDP.

However, his election was not possible without the votes also of the opposition Socialist People’s Party, because the election of the state prosecutor requires a three-fifths majority in parliament.

A consensus between the ruling coalition and part of the opposition on Stankovic’s election surprisingly emerged a day before the EU released its latest annual Progress Report on Montenegro.

The report criticized the state of the judiciary, urging greater involvement on the part of the government in the fight against organized crime and corruption.

The Supreme State Prosecutor’s Office has been criticized by opposition parties and civil society groups for years as a “weak link” in the judicial system. This is because it failed to bring any serious investigations into high-level corruption to a conclusion.

Source: Balkan Insight (Montenegro)