Montenegro Prosecution Probes Party Corruption Claim


News
02 Apr 15

Montenegro Prosecution Probes Party Corruption Claim

The Montenegrin prosecution has launched a probe into allegations of political corruption and ‘vote buying’ by the junior ruling Social Democratic Party, which the party has denied.

Dusica Tomovic
BIRN

Podgorica

The Montenegrin Supreme State Prosecutor, Ivica Stankovic, on Wednesday ordered an investigation into allegations of abuse of state resources and office by the Social Democratic Party, SDP, ahead of the 2012 general elections.

The investigation into the government’s junior coalition partner opened after the opposition daily newspaper Dan published documents that allegedly show the party misused the funds of Labour Fund and the Ministry of the Interior, offering jobs in public companies to “buy votes” ahead of the the autumn 2012 elections.

The newspaper quoted the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office as confirming that the inquest was launched and said prosecutors had been instructed to probe the allegations in the articles published on Monday and Tuesday.

The SDP, which is the led by the speaker of parliament, Ranko Krivokapic, strongly rejected the claims, saying it was no accident that the alleged documents appeared on the eve of a party congress due to elect a new party leadership in June.

The SDP said that “uncertified and unsigned” documents, like those published in Dan, could be made up in five minutes for political campaigning purposes.

‘It is interesting claim that the document is three years old, so it is strange why it appeared right now ahead of the party’s congress,” the party said in a statement.

The prosecution has already conducted another investigation into alleged abuses of state funds and abuse of office in the election concerning the main ruling party, the Democratic Party of Socialists, DPS, which is led by Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic.

The so-called “Tape Recording Affair” broke out in February 2013 after Dan published transcripts of leaked tapes of party sessions.

In the leaks, party officials appeared to promise jobs and loans to supporters and donors to election preparations.

Although the prosecution was urged to thoroughly investigate the affair, it ruled that no criminal actions took place.

The latest EU report on Montenegro expressed regret that the judicial follow-up to the “Audio Recording Affair” remained incomplete and hoped this and other affairs would be soon brought to court.

Source: Balkan Insight (Montenegro)