APC should check the origin of Djukanovic’s money for covering the debt

Centre for Civic Education (CCE) has submitted today to the Agency for Prevention of Corruption (APC) an Initiative for launching the proceedings of check of data from the Report on Incomes and Property of the President of Montenegro, Milo Djukanovic.

Montenegrin public was informed by Dusko Knezevic, businessman whom Montenegrin investigative bodies are searching within opened investigations, that the President Djukanovic has had debt on his card in the Atlas bank. In Djukanovic’s press statement, that he gave in the capacity of the President of Democratic Party of Socialist (DPS), on 23/01/2019, it is also stated: ‘I am already in the contact with the bank in which I am checking credibility of information regarding the debt, andI am seeking the instruction in which manner to perform this obligation of mine, if it stands.‘ Afterwards, the public was informed, by the Atlas Group, that Djukanovic has on 30/01/2019 returned the debt in the amount of16,358.00 EUR, which was confirmed by him personally in the show ‘Ukrstene rijeci‘, broadcasted on TV Prva on 14/02/2019.

The Law on Prevention of Corruption prescribes the obligation of the APC to perform checking of data from the reports submitted by public officials by comparing these data with gathered data on property and income of public officials from the public bodies and legal entities that have these data.

By comparing the data from last three reports which Milo Djukanovic has submitted to the APC with these publicly available data, contradiction is noted. Namely, in these reports, Djukanovic did not report either debts or savings. Additionally, it is not possible to determine, from the reported incomes of Djukanovic and his wife, how did he all of a sudden had 16, 358.86 EUR to pay the debt to the Atlas bank, as their official incomes are limited. From this, we conclude that reports of Milo Djukanovic do not contain accurate and complete data in this part, as per Law on Prevention of Corruption. Hence, it is necessary that APC checks these reports and bring its own opinion concerning this and possibly other irregularities in these reports, and accordingly, undertake actions prescribed by the law.

CCE wishes to believe that the report of President Djukanovic has also been planned in the annual plan of APC for conducting the check of data from reports on incomes and property of public officials, and that the Agency will also, ex officio, and not only as per this or other submitted initiatives, launch misdemeanour proceeding due to not reporting accurate and complete data in the same.

CCE hopes that the APC will urgently process this Initiative considering the function which Djukanovic performs and the interest of public for APC to be precisely the one to give its opinion on stated allegations.

Liridon Vulaj, Programme Assistant