Parliament of Montenegro revoked immunity of leaders of pro-Russian opposition

On Monday, February 13, Chief Special Prosecutor of Montenegro Milivoje Katnić appealed to Montenegro’s Parliament with a request to lift parliamentary immunity of the leaders of the pro-Russian opposition, the Democratic Front’s Andrija Mandiić and Milan Knežević. Days later, Radio I Televizija Crne Gore reported that Parliament voted to do exactly that.

Before the vote, Speaker of the Parliament Ivan Brajović expressed hope that lifting the immunity of both deputies would speed up the investigation of the case. The decision to lift immunity from Mandiić and Knežević was approved unanimously. The opposition boycotted the meeting.

A letter from the Prosecutor stated that the opposition MPs are suspected of organizing criminal acts that would threaten the constitutional order and security of Montenegro. A similar incident happened on October 16, 2016, the day of parliamentary elections in Montenegro where 20 Serbian citizens were arrested and accused of planning armed attacks on state institutions.

Opposition parties claimed that the whole operation was fabricated and accused Prime Minister Milo Đukanović of using security forces to perpetuate his leadership of the country, which has already lasted for a quarter of a century.

Before the vote, Đukanović said that Russia was financing the opposition to disrupt the upcoming membership of Montenegro in NATO.

In November of last year, Đukanović accused pro-Russian opposition of direct involvement in the violent power struggle and his attempted assassination on the day of elections.

  Montenegro, coup d’état, pro-Russian opposition