19 May 15
Montenegro Newspaper Slates Freeing of Blast Suspects
The daily Vijesti has accused the police and the prosecution of succumbing to political pressure after a court decided to release the suspects for a bomb attack on the paper in 2013.
A Montenegrin newspaper expressed bitter disappointment after a court ruled on Monday that there was no evidence to convict two men from Podgorica of staging a bomb attack that targeted the independent daily Vijesti.
Nemanja Vukmirovic and Marko Sofranac were acquitted of charges of setting off a bomb that detonated under the editor-in-chief’s office window in December 2013.
The newspaper condemned the acquittal and accused the police and the prosecution of misconduct and of giving in to political pressure.
“This is the logical end of misconduct and political pressure from the highest level of the state,” the editor-in-chief, Mihailo Jovovic, said.
The attack on the Vijesti newsroom was fifth reported in 2013 on the independent daily, which is known for its sharp criticism of the government of Milo Djukanovic.
Fifteen people were in the building at the time but no injuries were reported.
In November 2013, the Vijesti newsroom was stoned by three unidentified persons. In August that year, an explosive device detonated in the front of the home of the Vijesti journalist, Tufik Softic. Earlier, the journalist Olivera Lakic, editor Mihailo Jovovich and the newspaper’s CEO Zeljko Ivanovic were physically attacked.
In 2011, unknown persons set fire to three vehicles belonging to Vijesti.
Independent media outlets in Montenegro regularly accuse the government of being behind attacks on their staff members, property and vehicles, complaining also of a climate of impunity regarding such attacks.
Source: Balkan Insight (Montenegro)