Montenegrin police probe secret tunnel dug into court basement

Montenegrin police probe secret tunnel dug into court basement
/ Zoran Petricevic via Facebook
By bne IntelliNews September 12, 2023

A tunnel secretly dug into the storage rooms of Montenegro’s Higher Court where trial evidence is stored has been discovered, Boris Savic, head of the court, said at press conference on September 12.

The most likely explanation appears to be that the tunnel was built to access evidence stored by the court that includes drugs and weapons. However, Savic said as quoted by public broadcaster RTCG that nothing has been stolen and the premises were just messed up. Another theory is that the tunnel could have been intended to help a detainee escape from custody. 

“In a well-hidden place, we found an opening. It is a tunnel opening that had been made longer. The size shows that this is something that has been done for a long period of time,” said Savic told a press conference.

Police have launched an investigation into possible evidence theft, despite Savic’s claims that no evidence was missing.

“Whoever was working on that tunnel intended to come near the detention room. That opening was easy to spot during the examination,” he said.

The police are already checking the surveillance cameras monitoring the storage areas and are questioning court personnel who had access to the rooms that are located in the basement. However, Savic suggested that the police will not find anything on the surveillance cameras as perpetrators have come from outside.

Evidence materials, seized by the police during investigations, including documents, drugs and weapons, are kept by the court until a verdict becomes final. After that, the evidence should be destroyed.

Local media have suggested that the laptop of fugitive crypto-king Do Kwon who was arrested earlier this year was stolen. Savic denied that, saying that his laptop was not stored in the Higher Court.

He also said that a list of evidence in the storage facilities is being prepared and it shows that most likely nothing has been missing.

Savic also said that the court’s security measures are not adequate and he had been pointing out this problem for a long time.

“We do not even understand why the evidence is stored here, we have huge amounts of drugs here and maybe it would be better if it is placed in some other institution,” Savic said.

Meanwhile, Montenegro’s outgoing Interior Minister Filip Adzic said the tunnel leads to a nearby apartment that was rented two months earlier.

“This is an operation that was well planned and organised, which has been prepared for months and that looks like action movie,” Adzic said.

Since February, the Higher Court has begun trials of several high-ranking state officials including the former head of Supreme Court, Vesna Medenica, and the head of the Commercial Court, Blazo Jovanic.

Former high-ranking police officer Petar Lazovic and the alleged head of Kavac drug gang Slobodan Kascelan, along with members of his gang, are also being on trial at the Higher Court. Local media suggested that the tunnel might have been dug for Lazovic, but the police have not confirmed or denied that.