Montenegrin Special State Prosecutor Sasa Cadjenovic was arrested on the orders of the Special State Prosecutor’s Office on Friday. He has been charged with abuse of office, and for creating a criminal organization.
“Cadjenovic is suspected of several criminal offences of abuse of office and creating a criminal organization during the period from mid-2020 to 2022,” said the Special State Prosecutor’s Office spokesperson Vukas Radonjic, “He was arrested this morning and the Special State Prosecution will inform the public of details during the investigation.”
Cadjenovic has been the Deputy Special State Prosecutor since May 2020, when the office was led by Milivoje Katnic. After Katnic retired earlier this year on February 17, a new Special State Prosecutor Vladimir Novovic was appointed.
The office has proved to be unpopular with the former opposition party, which has accused the Special State Prosecutor of having ties with criminal groups as well as the then-ruling Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS).
The Special State Prosecutor has faced special criticism for securing guilty verdicts for 13 people, including two leaders of the then-opposition party Democratic Front, Andrija Mandic and Milan Knezevic- for planning overthrow the DPS-led government in 2016.
The Higher Court sentenced the 13 people in a first-instance verdict in May 2019, including Mandic, Knezevic, two Russian military intelligence officers and eight Serbs. They were sentenced up to 15 years in prison for staging a coup attempt.
On 5 February 2021, however, the Appeal Court annulled the verdicts. It instead asked the Higher Court to repeat the trial after former opposition leaders claimed it had been politically led.
On 29 November, the Higher Court called on the Special State Prosecution to deliver a new indictment in under 15 days.
One week earlier, on 20 November, a Democratic Front leader, Knezevic, accused Cadjenovic of cooperating with criminal gangs in the country.
“Due to abuses of office and obvious connections with organized criminal gangs, Cadjenovic long ago deserved to have an indictment brought against him and to serve a sentence in prison. Ha cannot act like a prosecutor anymore,” Knezevic told local media.
The Special State Prosecution filed an indictment on 11 August against a senior police officer, Petar Lazovic, for ties to the notorious Kavac gang of Kotor. They alleged he had provided the gang with official protection for their drug, arms and tobacco smuggling operations.
The investigation was later closed, with deputy Special State Prosecutor Cadjenovic assessing there were no elements of a crime. For his part, Katnic maintained that Lazovic had been an informant.
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