Serbia To Push Montenegro On Organised Crime

By Bojana Barlovac

Slobodan Homen, State Secretary in Serbia’s Ministry of Justice, says Montenegro’s new government must demonstrate its readiness to continue the fight against organized crime.

“The new government will have a serious task, to demonstrate its willingness to be one of key factors in the fight against organized crime in the region,” Homen said.

The new government in Podgorica is headed by Igor Luksic, previously the country’s Finance Minister.

Belgrade has in the past accused outgoing prime minister, Milo Djukanovic, of hiding people on Serbian wanted lists. In a gesture signaling the two countries’ commitment to busting organised crime networks, the two justice ministers signed an extradition agreement on October 29.

A series of arrests followed. Serbia has since taken into custody 12 men charged by Montenegro with war crimes and Montenegro has detained six organised crime suspects wanted by Serbia.

Dusan Janjic, head of the Belgrade-based Forum for Ethnic Relations, said Djukanovic’s withdrawal from politics in Montenegro would shift the focus on organised crime from Montenegro to the Serbia’s backyard.

“The time has come for Serbia to cut its own connections with organised crime,” he said.

Balkan Insight

Balkan Insight

The Balkan Insight (fornerkt the Balkin Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN) is a close group of editors and trainers that enables journalists in the region to produce in-depth analytical and investigative journalism on complex political, economic and social themes. BIRN emerged from the Balkan programme of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, IWPR, in 2005. The original IWPR Balkans team was mandated to localise that programme and make it sustainable, in light of changing realities in the region and the maturity of the IWPR intervention. Since then, its work in publishing, media training and public debate activities has become synonymous with quality, reliability and impartiality. A fully-independent and local network, it is now developing as an efficient and self-sustainable regional institution to enhance the capacity for journalism that pushes for public debate on European-oriented political and economic reform.

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