Montenegro Arrests Senior Police Officer for Alleged Gang Ties
The special state prosecutor's offices in Podgorica, Montenegro. Photo: EPA/BORIS PEJOVIC
"By the order of the Special State Prosecution, on Tuesday morning Special Police Department officers arrested police officer Jugoslav Raicevic on suspicion of having committed the criminal offence of creating a criminal organisation and the criminal offense of abuse of official position for an extended period," the Police Directorate said in a statement.
In March, news website Libertas Press published photographs that allegedly showed police officers torturing a member of a notorious drug gang known as the Skaljari.
Libertas Press cited a Europol report to the Montenegrin government from May last year, which warned about officials' ties with drug gangs and provided transcripts of their communications using the SKY ECC privacy app.
According to the transcripts published by Libertas Press, the photographs were sent by two senior special police unit officers, Petar Lazovic and Raicevic, to a leader of the Kavac drug-trafficking clan, the chief rivals to the Skaljari gang.
The Skaljari and Kavac gangs, both originating in Kotor, have been at war for years, with at least 50 people killed in Montenegro, Serbia, Austria and Greece.
Lazovic was charged in August last year with having ties to the Kavac clan.
In a separate development on June 22, the Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman Treatment called on Montenegro's authorities to investigate cases of police brutality and promote a culture change within law enforcement agencies.
According to civil society organisations, more than 70 cases of alleged police torture have been reported to the Montenegrin Police Directorate, the Ombudsperson and the...