An internal investigation of the Ministry of the Interior is scrutinising actions of police officers on 24th June in Budva.
The Ministry of the Interior is suggesting that there were instances of police officers illegally exceeding their authority during the police intervention.
"The Department for Internal Police Investigation has established cases in relation to events during the police intervention on 24th June in Budva. These are based upon published recordings from electronic and other media that show cases of suspected illegal use of coercion or excess of authority by police officers against individuals," reads the response of the Ministry of the Interior submitted to Vijesti.
Several weeks of political tensions due to the change of government in Budva escalated on that day, when the police intervened on several occasions against the public and councilors of the Democrats, the Democratic Front, and the Socialist People's Party.
Several recordings were published in the media showing the excessive use of police force, especially against Đorđe Đurašević and Predrag Radetić, both from Budva.
During the police intervention, Đurašević was injured, and the footage shows the officer approaching him, and then shoving him, pulling him aside and pushing him onto a parked car. Throughout the day, the police threw tear gas at several locations, and patrols then surrounded the town and arrested individuals.
Footage shows police officers striking a man who was offering no resistance and who was standing with his hands raised; police then ran towards him and knocked him to the ground.
Police officers acted similarly in a cafe in Budva, where they attacked one individual who had been knocked to the floor.
Five days after the worrying scenes in Budva, the Minister of the Interior, Mevludin Nuhodžić, announced that certain cases of police intervention would be reviewed.
"If police officers are found to have exceeded their authority, they will be prosecuted in line with procedures," Nuhodžić said.
After the events in Budva, the opposition demanded the resignation of both the Minister of the Interior and the Director of Police, Veselin Veljović.
A session of the parliamentary Security Committee was held last Monday, and the deputies of the Democratic Front said after that that they were disappointed that the leaders of the Ministry of the Interior and the police had refused to accept responsibility for the events in Budva.
The police intervention in Budva is also the subject of an investigation by the Kotor Prosecutor's Office, to determine whether the police officers had committed abuse or other criminal offences during the intervention in Budva.
The Council for Civilian Oversight of Police also requested that the identity of those in uniform, shown in footage to be using excessive force, be clarified.
Investigations ongoing into abuse of Pljevlja citizens
The Department for Internal Police Investigation has not yet issued its verdict in the case of the use of coercive measures by police officers against Pljevlja citizen O.M. (21) in the riots on 13th May this year.
"The internal investigation into the case in question is ongoing," Vijesti was told.
The Council for Civilian Oversight of Police stated in the report that at least seven police officers used their hands, feet and batons to beat the individual, who offered no resistance, exceeding their authority and violating the rights of the 21-year-old.
Due to the abuse of the individual in question, the case is in the reconnaissance phase within the local prosecutor's office.
The twenty-one-year-old was beaten by police with equipment used for dispersing demonstrators during protests against the arrest of Bishop Ioaniki and a priest of the Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral.
The police actions were in this case recorded on camera.
June 28, 2020 - The fact that the main tourist season will this year bypass Montenegro's tourism capital is not the only thing currently on the minds of the citizens of Budva and indeed the rest of Montenegro. In one of only three opposition municipalities in Montenegro, political conflicts have been ongoing for a month now, and have partly spilled over into the streets of Budva. The Montenegrin police are actively involved in the entire process.
A brief summary would not do justice to the complexity of the situation, so here we will provide you an overview of the most important events that have marked the beginning of a "hot political summer" in Montenegro.
Budva Municipality logo
Sixteen councilors sign the proposal, three from Crnogorska, 11 from the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS), one from the Social Democrats (SD), and independent councilor Stevan Džaković.
May 27: Members of the Democratic Front (DF) in Budva file a criminal complaint against an alleged organized criminal group that, as they claim, agreed to replace the government in Budva, with the million-dollar corruption of independent councilor Stevan Džaković. The criminal charges were filed with the Special State Prosecutor's Office and the Chief Special Prosecutor Milivoje Katnić.
The report addresses an unidentified person, who is said to be influential in the DPS, "associated with high-level crime and a bank in Montenegro", and an organizer of a criminal organization. In the application, the DF mentioned many persons from the political, public, and business milieu.
May 28: All 12 councilors of the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) Budva come to the local parliament (scheduled for June 30) and vote for the removal of Mayor Marko Carević and the President of the Municipal Assembly Krsto Radović.
At the Ministry of Finance's request, the Commercial Court issues a temporary measure blocking all accounts of the Municipality of Budva to the tune of 29.3 million euros, the amount the German-Austrian company WTE / EVN withdrew from the state account in December 2019 by activating the guarantee. The Municipality of Budva claims that this is a state guarantee, given by the Government of Montenegro for a wastewater project. The contract defines that the local government is not obliged to pay the sum to the state in case of activation of the guarantee.
May 29: The Democratic Front (DF) in Budva announces that the DPS, together with Crnogorska and independent councilor Stevan Džaković, has a plan to "brutally violate the law, statute, and rules of procedure and hold a parallel quasi-session of the Budva municipal assembly to try to remove current government ".
"The freeze on all accounts of the Municipality of Budva best proves this is a joint venture of state bodies, primarily the Ministry of Finance and the Commercial Court, supporting DPS to undo all positive effects of the local fight with organized crime and corruption, "said the DF.
Police officers secure the local parliament session in civilian clothes, causing esentment among the Democrats and the DF members. After the end of the meeting, the police remove independent councilor Stevan Džaković from the improvised hall, waiting for the increasingly disaffected crowd gathered in protest against the violation of the electoral will.
May 30: A session of the local parliament is held in Budva, at which the dismissal of the President of the Municipality, Marko Bato Carević, is discussed. The member of the Democrats of the Municipal Assembly (MA) of Budva, Dragan Krapović, stated that the law had been clear and that the deadline for voting on the removal of Carević had expired.
The next session is scheduled for June 29.
June 3: The Municipal Assembly of Budva does not decide on the dismissal of its President, Krsto Radović, after the legal deadline of 30 days for a declaration expires at midnight.
The Chairman, Gojko Liješević (Democratic Montenegro), schedules the continuation of the session for June 29.
Krsto Radović and Marko Bato Carević, Source: cdm.me
June 5: Seventeen councilors of Budva's Assembly address the Ministry of Public Administration and ask for their opinion on the occasion of two sessions of the local parliament in Budva, held to discuss initiatives for dismissal of Mayor Marko Carević and President of the Municipal Assembly of Budva Krsto Radović, states the DPS.
June 6: The Municipal Board of DPS Budva files a complaint against the responsible persons in the Municipality for violating the law, the Statute and the Rules of Procedure of the Municipal Assembly of Budva, states the President of the Budva Coard of DPS Predrag Jelušić.
June 7: The Budva Committee of Democratic Montenegro announces that it is preparing criminal charges against the President of the DPS committee in the city, Predrag Jelušić, and "other people responsible for the Port of Budva." They are also preparing criminal charges for several other cases, which, as they state, involve Public Enterprise Morsko Dobro and Jelušić as its Director.
The Democrats react to Jelušić's statement that the DPS in Budva was filing charges against those responsible in that Municipality, adding that the DPS "knew very well" that the President of the Budva municipal assembly, Krsto Radović, had complied with all legal deadlines and statutory and business obligations.
The party announces criminal charges against "all those responsible and involved in corruption and the buying of support of councilor Džaković, as well as for false reporting."
June 8: The Assembly Service of the Municipal Assembly of Budva receives a request to convene a session by the newly formed majority in the local parliament, consisting of DPS, SD, Crnogorska, and independent councilor Stevan Džaković. Sixteen councilors sign the request, with 11 signatures needed for its adoption.
June 9: The Ministry of Public Administration assesses that the President of the Municipal Assembly of Budva, Krsto Radović, acted contrary to the provisions of the Law on Local Self-Government and the Statute of the Municipality because he did not allow councilors to vote on the proposals submitted.
The Mayor of Budva, Marko Carević, requests an urgent meeting with Minister of Finance, Darko Radunović, to solve the problem of the million-dollar freeze on the city treasury.
June 11: A new majority in the Municipal Assembly of Budva fires Mayor Marko Carević and President of the Municipal Assembly Krsto Radović. They hold a session in the tourist resort Slovenska Plaža. All 17 councilors of the new majority, consisting of councilors from DPS, SD, Crnogorska, and independent councilor Stevan Džaković, vote for the removal of Carevic and Radovic. Vladimir Bulatović (Crnogorska) is appointed acting President of the Municipality until the election of a new president, and DPS councilor Snežana Kuč is appointed interim President of the Municipal Assembly.
June 16: "Regarding my departure from the position of Mayor of Budva, several legal problems are intertwined. The Constitution of Montenegro states that the will of the citizens is guaranteed. I came to power by the will of the citizens, and now they want to remove me with an election law that violates Montenegro's Constitution. The method of personal mandates is an old tactic of the DPS that has been corrupting councilors for decades and changing the citizens' electoral will by buying them," said the dismissed mayor of Budva, Bato Carević.
The Special State Prosecutor's office investigates the allegations of criminal charges against the officials of the Municipal Assembly of Budva and the Mayor, the Chief Special Prosecutor Milivoje Katnić states at a press conference. He explains that they are acting on corroborating reports from Budva politicians and a statement released by one non-governmental organization.
Carević files criminal charges against three inspectors of the Administrative Inspection, as well as against DPS board member Snezana Kuč and the leader of the Budva Board from Crnogorska, Vladimir Bulatovic, for "abuse of official position, creation of a criminal organization for the violent takeover of power and intrusion into official premises."
Officials of the Administrative Inspection of the Ministry of Public Administration are prevented from filing a decision of the new parliamentary majority in the governmental service of the Municipality of Budva, by which Carević and Radović were dismissed, after which the inspectors ask for police assistance.
June 17: Budva Mayor Marko Carević, his son and brother, Budva Municipal Assembly President Krsto Radović, and five other associates are arrested for failing to allow police to bring administrative inspectors into the municipal building.
The Manager of the Municipality of Budva, Milo Božović, the Secretary for Investments, Mladen Mikijelj, the Head of Carević's cabinet, Nikola Jovanović, and Carević's Advisor, Đordje Vujović, are also arrested.
Municipal officials and citizens gather early that morning outside the Municipality of Budva, as a dozen police vans arrive in Budva. The entire city is under police siege, according to Vijesti.
Citizens of Budva Offering Food to Police, Source: RTCG
On June 16, the Administrative Inspection of the Ministry of Public Administration issues a decision ordering that the new majority be granted access to the Municipality and documents. Carević and Radović do not recognize those decisions. They claim that they are illegal and do not allow the newly elected officials to enter the Municipal building and have access to documents. They state that the political crisis in Budva has come after councilor Stevan Džaković, who was on the list of the Democratic Front, decided to support the opposition, which in that Municipality consists of the Democratic Party of Socialists and the Montenegrin Party. The sacked leadership claims that this is political corruption.
The Vijesti portal states that the police applied an inappropriate degree of force and tear gas against the municipal officials and citizens and that the windows on the municipal building were broken. The most significant reastions from the media were caused by the recording of the police's actions towards the former Secretary for Investments of the Municipality of Budva, Mladen Mikijelj.
Carević, Radović, and other officials of the Municipality of Budva are released later in the afternoon. Radović states that the entire public could see that Montenegro does not have a Constitution and that legislation and the rule of law have been suspended and subordinated to the greatest dictator Milo Đukanović.
The Vice President of the Democrats and councilor Dragan Krapović calls on the citizens to remain persistent and stay, and calls on representatives of all parties to come to Budva. As he states, democracy is being defended there.
He says that the municipal officials in Risan hospital were found to have injuries inflicted on them by the police during the detention, but that they were generally well.
Krapović sends a message to the international community to take into account of what is happening in Montenegro. "Do not keep silent on the unpleasant scenes of Milo Đukanović's military junta," he said.
June 20: There are almost eight million euros in the account of the Municipality of Budva, but the money cannot be used as long as the temporary measure of the Commercial Court is in force at the end of May at the request of the Ministry of Finance. However, during the political crisis, when there are "two authorities" in the city, which have started a dialogue to overcome tensions and calm passions, resolving the account blockade will have to be a priority. During the talks, political representatives are forbidden to make any political statements and thus raise tensions, and prevent an agreement. The Commercial Court has not yet ruled on the objection lodged by Marko Carević's administration against the interim measure, blocking bank accounts.
June 22: Snezana Kuč schedules consultations with the presidents of the committee groups on Thursday, June 25, on the occasion of the next session of the parliament, on the current political situation.
In the invitation to the councilors' groups, it is stated that the topic of the meeting is consultations related to the work at the next session of the Municipal Assembly of Budva and the conversation regarding the current political situation.
The leader of Montenegro, Vladimir Bulatović, leaves the building of the Municipality of Budva, where he talks with the DPS councilor Snežana Kuč and President of the Municipality, Marko Carević. The meeting ends without an agreement. The Municipal building meeting is briefly attended by the President of the Municipal Assembly, Krsto Radović.
Civic Protests in Budva, Source RTV BN
On that same day, deputies and councilors of Democratic Montenegro break through the cordon of private security in the Municipal Assembly (MA) of Budva, who had been hired the day before by the acting President of the Municipality, Vladimir Bulatović.
The President of the Municipal Assembly of Budva, Krsto Radović, invites those who want to resolve the political situation in Budva to come to the Municipal building. He tells people gathered in front of the Municipal building that the leader of Montenegro, Vladimir Bulatović, "confirmed that he had ordered" his arrest and that of President of the Municipality, Marko Carević. Radović calls on those gathered to remain peaceful and not to attack the police.
Marko Carević, Krsto Radović, leader of the Democrats, Aleksa Bečić with eight deputies, as well as four deputies of the Democratic Front, Slaven Radunović, Marina Jocić, Milun Zogović, and Jovan Vucurović, are in the building of the Municipality, as well as municipal officials and councilors, and police inspectors.
June 23: Carević and Radović state that they have received word from the police that no one will be able to enter the building of the Municipality of Budva, and ask the gathered citizens to disperse.
Representatives of the local government and representatives appointed by the new majority of councilors a few days earlier as acting presidents of the Municipality and the President of the municipal assembly, will not be able to enter the municipal building. Carević asks the police to provide him with a document stating that the Municipality was closed.
The legal representative of the Municipality of Budva, Vladan Bojić, says that something that unforeseen had happened that day, that the Municipality had been turned into a police station.
"For the first time, the police are closing down the local government and unconstitutionally preventing workers from coming to their jobs. It is a sure way to ruin an unreasonable decision that is direct to the detriment of citizens. This is a violation of the Constitution because workers are forbidden to come to work." said Carević.
The Municipality of Budva is not provided with official information based on which the police forbid everyone to enter, which was also confirmed by Vladimir Bulatović, who tells Vijesti that he has not received any document.
June 24: On the occasion of the invitation of the DPS and Montenegro for mediation in Budva, the EU Delegation to Montenegro tells "Vijesti" that they have nothing to add to the statement of the EC spokesperson Anna Pisonero Hernandez.
She states that the EU welcomes the dialogue in Budva and calls on all political actors to show respect for the rule of law and democratic principles and to show political maturity to find a sustainable solution to the current situation through dialogue and mutual respect.
The leader of Crnogorska, Vladimir Bulatović, sends a letter to the security service asking security to prevent all employees from entering the building of the Municipality of Budva, except those listed. Bulatović, who has signed as acting President of the Municipality of Budva, bans councilors from entering until further notice.
Economic crime inspectors enter the building of the Municipality of Budva and begin control of the members of the security.
In Budva, police deploy tear gas after a warning is issued to citizens who have surrounded the police station to disperse.
Special Police Forces in Budva, June 24, Source: Vijesti Online
After being arrested earlier that day, Carević and Radović, as well as DF councilors Đorđije Vujović and Đordje Pribilović, and SNP councilor Krsto Radjenović are released. Among those detained are the Vice President and councilor of the Democrats, Dragan Krapović, the Head of Carević's Cabinet, Nikola Jovanović, and the Manager of the Municipality, Milo Božović. Not far from the police station, famous boxer Nikola Sjekloća is also arrested. The Head of the Protection and Rescue Service, Dragan Božović, and the Head of the Utilities Collection Service, Ninoslav Kaludjerović, are also detained.
After 5.30 pm, tear gas is thrown outside elementary school "Stefan Mitrov Ljubiša", and then at the crossroads, where riots break out. Stones are thrown at the police station, and tear gas is thrown into the hall of the Sports Center during children's training.
Members of the Special Police Units come to the official parking lot of the Municipality of Budva before and after citizens have gathered because the end of working hours was approaching. They await the departure of acting presidents of the Municipality and the Municipal Assembly, Vladimir Bulatović and Snežana Kuč, from the Municipality premises.
June 27: A new majority of councilors in the Municipal Assembly of Budva elect DPS MP Nikola Divanović as the President of the Municipality of Budva.
Andjela Ivanović (Crnogorska) is elected President of the Budva municipal assembly by 17 councilors - 12 DPS councilors, three Crnogorska's councilors, one Social Democrat (SD) councilor, and Stevan Džaković, an independent councilor.
The decision is not recognized by a coalition of the Democratic Front (DF), Democratic Montenegro, the Civic Movement URA, the Socialist People's Party (SNP), and the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
The session is marked by chaos, including physical clashes between political opponents, which lead to five opposition councilors being taken to the police. Vijesti states that DF councilor Milan Šoljaga tried to enter the session, but private security did not allow him to do so.
The media are not allowed to attend the Municipal Assembly of Budva session at which Divanović and Ivanović are elected. However, the rules of procedure of the local government body prescribe that the meetings are public and must be open to journalists.
Police Forces in front of the Municipality of Budva, June 27, Source: Vijesti Online
The Media Union of Montenegro (SMCG) strongly condemned the actions of the private security team that was engaged in the building of the Municipal Assembly of Budva, which during the session of the local parliament forcibly and inappropriately expell Pobjeda journalist Đurđica Ćorić from the municipal premises.
The Budva Board of the Democratic Front (DF) states that Nikola Divanovic (DPS) is the self-proclaimed President of the Municipality of Budva and that the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) in Budva have shown the kind of democracy from the golden age of the regime of former Romanian leader Nicolae Ceausescu.
DPS MP Nikola Divanović claims that he is the legitimate President of the Municipality of Budva because the parliamentary majority had voted for him. He says that he will start working on solving the problem on Monday, promising that there will be no revanchism and that everyone who wants to work has a place in his team.
November 26, 2019 - A consortium of the German WPD AG company and Vjetroelektrana Budva [in English: Budva Wind Farm] is the only bidder that met all the requirements for the construction of the Wind Farm Brajići on state-owned land in the municipalities of Budva and Bar, suggests the Decision on the shortlist of bidders.
The document drew up by the Ministry of Economy says the German-Montenegrin consortium was the only bidder which made a bid in a timely manner and offered an investment of EUR 101,3 million for the construction of a wind farm.
The bid encompasses the construction of a wind farm with the potential of producing 100,8 MW, while the consortium also offered to pay €2,50 per square meter for the lease of state-owned land.
The bid also envisages the participation of national companies in the amount of €21,6 million and the construction of a new wind power plant at an area of 235,462 square meters.
Text by CDM on November 26, 2019, read more here.
To read more about business in Montenegro, follow TMN's dedicated page.
November 11, 2019 - Budvanska Rivijera Hotel Group generated revenue of €4,88 million at the end of September this year, the report on the operating performance of the company shows.
Limited liability company, which encompasses Palas and Castellastva hotels in Petrovac, Aleksandar and Mogren in Budva, as well as tourist settlement Slovenska plaža, made great results during the main season despite a portfolio of investments in internal restructuring.
Operating income amounted to €20,05 million in the first nine months. Around €18,44 million were used for the sale of capacities and services in five hotels.
In the same period, expenses amounted to €15,33 million. Around €5,69 million were related to employees’ salaries, €3,76 million went for the material, amortization required €1,83 million and more than €4 million related to other operational expenses.
Since other business activities brought another €174.165, Budvanska Riviera finished the third quarter with the final €4,88 million.
The company’s total assets amounted to €140,78 million in this period.
The company earmarked €1,65 million for the short-term financial arrangements – €12,54 million for the cash and €1,41 million for stocks.
The current initial capital is worth €55,04 million and is divided into more than 8 million shares.
Deferred tax liabilities amount to €7,96 million whereas retained earnings reached €9,76 million.
On 25 June, the majority shareholders of Budvanska Riviera HG gave green light to restructuring project. A new limited liability company was established – Sveti Stefan hotels, encompassing Sveti Stefan and Miločer hotels.
Text by CDM on November 11, 2019, read more here.
To read more about business in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.
28 October 2019 - A consortium of the German WPD AG company and Vjetroelektrana from Budva is the only bidder for the construction of Brajići wind farm, offering 100 million EUR.
As Cafe del Montenegro reported, five companies have purchased tender documentation in the public tender invited for the lease state-owned land. Only one bid was submitted within the established deadline.
The bid encompasses the construction of a wind warm with a capacity of 100,8 MW, a 100 million EUR investment. The lease of the land will be 2,50 EUR per square meter for a total of 220.770 square meters of land.
WPD AG, a renowned German company, is experienced in the implementation of similar projects in many world countries, with a 4.400 MW portfolio of installed capacity.
The bid also envisages the participation of national companies for 21,6 million EUR, which will further enhance the multiple effects of the project.
Research and measurements of wind potential in Brajići were carried on the grounds of licenses issued by the competent Ministry, between May 2013 and May 2015 and between November 2016 and November 2017.
German WPD expressed its interest in the construction of the Brajići wind farm at the beginning of this year. Andreas Scholl, WPD Director for Europe, met in February with Montenegro’s Prime Minister Duško Marković and said that they wanted such investment in Montenegro.
Similarly, the wind farm Gvozd project was recently estimated at 58 million EUR, rated at 55 megawatts and, according to the estimates, it will have 13 turbines. Shareholders in the state energy company supported the decision on the construction of the Gvozd wind farm. Executive manager of the Directorate for Development and Engineering in the Electric Power Company of Montenegro Ivan Mrvaljević said that development of the Study on the potential of wind and energy production assessment, and the Study on the market and business model of Gvozd wind farm had been carried out before the investment decision.
Read more news about business in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
11 October 2019 - On October 3rd, Jet2.com and Jet2holidays announced new direct services to Tivat in Montenegro, with flights and holidays going on sale from London Stansted and Manchester Airports.
The announcement marks the first time that Jet2.com has operated flights direct to Montenegro, a destination that features everything from golden beaches and cool bars to whitewashed villages and rugged national parks. Currently accessible from Dubrovnik, the launch of this brand new route now gives holidaymakers direct access to Montenegro with Jet2.com and Jet2holidays.
The airline will operate up to two weekly services (Thursday and Sunday) to Tivat from each base, with services running from May through to October.
Located on the west coast of the Balkan Peninsula, Tivat opens up an array of dazzling options for holidaymakers, including resorts such as stylish Budva, chilled-out Bečići and the stunning Herceg Novi. The classy coastal town of Tivat itself is nearby, as is the jaw-dropping Kotor Bay.
This is Jet2.com’s third brand new route for Summer 20, in addition to Preveza (Greece) and Zadar (Croatia).
Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays said: “The introduction of services to Tivat means that we are operating direct flights to Montenegro for the first time. With stunning scenery, a wonderful climate, and fantastic resorts such as Budva and Bečići on offer, we are expecting this destination to be hugely popular with holidaymakers. Yet again, Jet2.com and Jet2holidays are giving holidaymakers and independent travel agents even more choice and flexibility when it comes to booking our award-winning flights and holidays.”
Low-cost carrier Jet2 will enter the Montenegrin market in 2020 with the launch of two new routes to Tivat. The airline will inaugurate two weekly flights from Manchester and London Stansted starting May 21. Both will be operated with a 189-seat Boeing 737-800 aircraft. The announcement marks the first time the leisure airline and package holiday specialist has operated flights to Montenegro.
"The Balkan beauty of Montenegro sits beside neighbours Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Majestic mountains stand proud against brilliant beaches, with terracotta-topped towns in between. You’ll find laid-back rural areas alongside upmarket marinas too. Sound up your street? Let us show you more…," says the open invitation of the Jet2 company to all interested travellers to visit Montenegro and its beauty.
Tickets are already available for purchase on the airline's website.
Get more information on when and how to visit Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.