05.06.2002. / 00:00

Autor: Nacionalova redakcija

The Mafia

All of Nacional’s articles surrounding the tobacco mafia and its connection to Milo Djukanović

“An investigation underway against Djukanović for charges of smuggling”


The news that the Bari district attorney has launched an investigation into Montenegrin President Milo Djukanović for his involvement in cigarette smuggling was quite sensational in Italy.

The Bari investigation was headline news on both state and private Italian TV stations last Wednesday evening, which the daily newspapers quickly picked up and promoted into the event of the week. “La Repubblica” from Rome ran a full-page story titled: “The Mafia: an investigation underway against Djukanović for charges of smuggling”. The same topic was the major story in the daily “Corriere della sera”, titled: “Montenegrin President under investigation in Bari”.

“Milo Djukanović goes up in smoke” – was the headline in the daily “Manifesto”, which ran two very harsh columns, one titled: “Head of State and Head of the Mafia” and the other: “Montenegro, the state, the smuggling”.

The comments within state: “He was supposed to have become an alternative to Milošević and be the triumphant president of Montenegro. Instead, Milo Djukanović has gone up in smoke, just like his smuggled cigarettes…”

The newspaper “Stampa” commented that Djukanović, if he were to “theoretically” find himself in Italy, could even be arrested.

With respect to the legality concerning the investigation, all previous dilemmas have finally been resolved. Bari district attorney, Giuseppe Scelsi was in close cooperation with the Foreign Ministry. The response to his question as to whether or not the president of Montenegro can enjoy the privilege of immunity as foreseen by the International Convention for Heads of State was negative.

One of the “key witnesses” in the investigation against Djukanović is allegedly Srećko Kestner, the 46 year old former partner of the “King of the tobacco cartel”, Stanko Subotić, nicknamed Cane.

For a full year, Nacional has been writing about all the reasons why the Montenegrin president has become a target for the Italian justice system. In mid May of last year, Nacional was the first to reveal the close friendship and partnership between Djukanović and Subotić. In over 150 pages and a dozen detailed articles, Nacional published the precise details about the way the smuggling took place, and all the people involved. These articles attracted a lot of attention from international investigators, particularly in Italy, where it was recently announced that Milo Djukanović would find himself in court sooner or later for his involvement in the smuggling. Nacional again releases all the articles which describe, in detail, all of his smuggling activities, and partners in that business.

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