European Western Balkans

Former Montenegrin Special Prosecutor and high-ranking police officer arrested

Photo: YT, Screenshot

PODGORICA – At the request of the Special Prosecutor Office of Montenegro, Former Special Prosecutor Milivoje Katnić and former high-ranking police official Zoran Lazović were arrested on Sunday, Vijesti reported.

“Katnić and Lazović were detained on suspicion of committing criminal offenses of forming a criminal organization abuse of official capacity”, it is stated from the Special Prosecutor’s Office.

It is added that the arrest of the former head of the Special Prosecutor and former assistant police director was based on cooperation of the prosecution with EUROPOL.

The highest government officials congratulated the Special Prosecutor’s Office on the arrest of Katnić and Lazović.

Prime Minister Milojko Spajić stated that the action of the Special Prosecutor’s Office demonstrates the “level of infiltration of organized crime into the institutions of the system, which were established during the previous governments.”

The new authorities in Montenegro that came to power after August 2020 accused Katnić of prosecuting the opposition and protecting the highest DPS officials, including former President Milo Đukanović.

He was the chief prosecutor in the case of the attempted terrorism and “coup d’état” in 2016, in which the indictment included Russian and Serbian citizens, as well as leaders of the pro-Russian Democratic Front—current president of the Montenegrin Parliament Andrija Mandić and MP Milan Knežević, president of the Democratic People’s Party, a member of the ruling coalition. In the initial verdict, all were sentenced to lengthy prison terms, but the Court of Appeals later sent the process to the beginning.

Katnić’s name is also known for the prosecution of high-ranking DPS official and former president of the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro, Svetozar Marović.

During his trial, Marović signed a plea agreement admitting guilt for forming a criminal organization. He avoided serving his prison sentence by leaving Montenegro and found protection in Serbia, which has refused to extradite him for years.

Zoran Lazović was former assistant police director responsible for combating organized crime. His son Petar Lazović has been in custody for more than a year and a half on suspicion of drug and weapons smuggling as well as belonging to the one of the criminal organization in Montenegro.

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