Montenegro Extradites ‘Coup Plot’ Witness Sindjelic to Croatia

Montenegro on Wednesday extradited Sasa Sindjelic, a former protected witness in the Montenegro "Coup Plot" trial, to Croatia, where he is to serve a jail sentence over an unrelated case.

It previously arrested Sindjelic, a Serbian national, on the basis of an Interpol "red notice" submitted by Croatia.

"Officers of the Police Directorate today carried out the extradition of Sasa Sindjelic. He was detained in Montenegro on July 1, 2019 after the international arrest warrant issued by Interpol Zagreb," the Montenegrin Police Directorate said.A court in Vukovar, eastern Croatia, sentenced Sindjelic to 21 years in prison for theft and a murder committed in 2001 in Croatia.

Before handing him over to the Croatian authorities, Montenegro's Higher Court in Podgorica in September approved the extradition request.

Sindjelic was one of 20 Serbian citizens accused of involvement in an alleged plot to overthrow the government in Montenegro during the elections in October 2016. Although he was a suspect in the case, he was later given protected witness status.

During the trial of the coup suspects, he claimed that the people behind the alleged plot did not plan to stage a coup and only wanted to rally in support of the opposition.

In the first-instance verdict in May, the Higher Court sentenced 13 people, including two Russian military intelligence officers, eight Serbs and two Montenegrin opposition leaders to up to 15 years in prison for staging a coup attempt. Defence lawyers said they will appeal.

The defendants were found guilty of plotting to commit "terrorist acts" and undermine the constitutional order of Montenegro during the elections with a view to overthrowing the pro-Western government and preventing the country from...

Continue reading on: