Ex-Montenegrin President Marovic missing after receiving prison sentence

By bne IntelliNews May 14, 2017

Montenegro’s court issued an arrest warrant on May 12 for former President Svetozar Marovic who has not been found in his hometown and has not obeyed an earlier order to go to jail and serve his sentence, broadcaster RTCG reported.

Marovic, who was sentenced in a corruption case, was the first top level offical to be sentenced in Montenegro, where the European Commission warned in its 2016 enlargement report that "Corruption remains prevalent in many areas and continues to be a serious problem". 

Two days earlier, the court ordered the police to bring Marovic to jail by force, despite objections from his lawyer that he needs medical attention. However, according to the court’s information, the former president was not found in the town of Budva and allegedly is in hospital in Belgrade.

Marovic was sentenced in September last year to 46 months in jail for his participation in the so called Budva affair. The former president of Serbia and Montenegro was arrested in December 2015 after being under investigation for four years. He admitted in May last year that he was the leader of a criminal organisation which he had set up with the aim of gaining illegal benefits from property.

However, after Marovic signed two agreements with the prosecution to admit his guilt, his lawyer requested a delay of the implementation of his sentence, claiming that Marovic needed to go to hospital.

Last week, Marovic’s lawyer Zdravko Begovic once again repeated that he is not able to serve his sentence at the moment because of serious health problems. He added that Marovic does not plan to escape and will go to jail once his health condition allows him.

Also in May last year, Marovic’s brother Dragan and son Milos pleaded guilty in the Budva affair. Dragan will spend 17 months in prison and Milos was sentenced to one year. Milos eventually applied for Serbian citizenship and attempted to move to Serbia and serve his sentence there. However, the Montenegrin prosecution requested that he serve his sentence in his home country before moving to Serbia.

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