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Montenegro: Court sentences 13 people over alleged coup02:54

Montenegro: Court sentences 13 people over alleged coup

Montenegro, Podgorica
May 9, 2019 at 22:54 GMT +00:00 · Published

A Montenegro court has sentenced 13 people to jail in Podgorica on Thursday, in an alleged coup case dating back to the 2016 parliamentary elections.

The guilty included two alleged Russian intelligence agents and two opposition politicians and now they now face up to 15 years in jail.

The alleged GRU agents, identified as Vladimir Popov and Eduard Shishmakov, were tried in absentia and sentenced to 12 and 15 years in prison respectively, while Andrija Mandic and Milan Knezevic, two Montenegrin opposition politicians were sentenced to five years in jail.

The verdict claimed the group had planned to assassinate then-Prime Minister Milo Dukanovic, who is now president, and install a pro-Russian leadership.

"My suggestion is not to go to the jail because this is not a real verdict," said defence attorney Miroje Jovanovic, who accused the verdict of being politically motivated. "It is scandalous that some sort of political leaflet is read as an official verdict."

"They are blood enemies from today, they are no longer our political opponents," said Andrija Mandic of the president and his Democratic Party of Socialists of Montenegro (DPS) during a press conference at the Democratic Front opposition bloc headquarters.

Opposition leader Nebojisa Medojic said, "Democracy and the rule of law have been buried today. The foundation of the Montenegrin state has been shaken today."

Montenegro: Court sentences 13 people over alleged coup02:54
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A Montenegro court has sentenced 13 people to jail in Podgorica on Thursday, in an alleged coup case dating back to the 2016 parliamentary elections.

The guilty included two alleged Russian intelligence agents and two opposition politicians and now they now face up to 15 years in jail.

The alleged GRU agents, identified as Vladimir Popov and Eduard Shishmakov, were tried in absentia and sentenced to 12 and 15 years in prison respectively, while Andrija Mandic and Milan Knezevic, two Montenegrin opposition politicians were sentenced to five years in jail.

The verdict claimed the group had planned to assassinate then-Prime Minister Milo Dukanovic, who is now president, and install a pro-Russian leadership.

"My suggestion is not to go to the jail because this is not a real verdict," said defence attorney Miroje Jovanovic, who accused the verdict of being politically motivated. "It is scandalous that some sort of political leaflet is read as an official verdict."

"They are blood enemies from today, they are no longer our political opponents," said Andrija Mandic of the president and his Democratic Party of Socialists of Montenegro (DPS) during a press conference at the Democratic Front opposition bloc headquarters.

Opposition leader Nebojisa Medojic said, "Democracy and the rule of law have been buried today. The foundation of the Montenegrin state has been shaken today."

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