18 Jun 15
Montenegro to Name Special Organized Crime Prosecutor
In the next few days Montenegro will announce the name of the head of the new special prosecution office for organized crime and corruption, which is being set up as part of a drive to improve the country’s record in this department.
By the end of month, Montenegro will appoint a chief special prosecutor for organized crime and corruption, war crimes and human trafficking – as part of a drive to prove that it is worthy of membership of the European Union.
The government has admitted that the ex-Yugoslav republic has a problem with organized crime and corruption and has announced the establishment of a special prosecutor’s organization based on the model of Croatia’s widely praised USKOK department.
The special unit will be established within the police whose officers will act only on the orders of the new special prosecutor.
The aim of the new organization, the government says, is to consolidate all criminal processes for the most serious crimes, with a special emphasis “on corruption at high political level”.
According to announcements, no later than this Friday, the Supreme State Prosecutor, Ivica Stankovic, will reveal his choice for the post of the chief prosecutor for organized crime.
Three candidates have applied to the announcement and the process of selection concluded last week.
Under the Law on the Special Prosecutor’s Office, adopted in February, the Prosecutors Council must confirm Stankovic’s choice, which is between lawyer Mitar Mugosa, prosecutor Djurdjina Ivanovic and the Court of Appeal judge Milivoje Katnic.
“All the candidates are high-quality professionals with references for such a post,” State Prosecutor Stankovic said.
Media reports in the capital Podgorica indicate that his first choice would be Katnic, an experienced jurist who was also a judge of the military court in Podgorica in the Nineties.
Montenegro already has a special unit for organized crime and corruption as part of the Supreme State Prosecutor’s Office, but EU reports have often queried its efficiency.
Montenegro has been told to fight organised crime and corruption more effectively and arrest some “big fish” as part of the accession process.
The latest EU Progress Report on Montenegro repeated earlier assessments of “a worrying situation in the area of corruption and organized crime”.
The European Commission has voiced concerns about the delay in the adoption of a legal framework for the formation of the Special Prosecutor’s Office, which the government promised to establish by last November.
The Head of Unit for Montenegro in the European Commission’s Directorate-General, Dirk Lange, recently expressed disappointment that the special prosecution had not been established.
“The Commission had expected not only the laws to be adopted, but also the special prosecutor’s office to begin its work and provide some results,” he said.
Source: Balkan Insight (Montenegro)