Two Russian spies, nine Serbian citizens and three Montenegrins jailed for attempted coup in Montenegro

epa07558783 Andrija Mandic (R) and Milan Knezevic (L) , leaders of the pro-Russian opposition Democratic Front, attend for a press conference at their headquarters in Podgorica, Montenegro, 09 May 2019. Knezevic and Mandic were sentenced to five years in prison. The high Court has sentenced for jail two Russian intelligence officers and two opposition politicians, among 13 people, over an alleged 2016 election day plot to overthrow Montenegro's government, killing the prime minister and bringing a pro-Russian alliance to power. EPA-EFE/BORIS PEJOVIC

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A Montenegro court has sentenced 14 people including two Russian military intelligence officers, two Montenegrin opposition leaders, nine Serbian citizens and another Montenegrin to up to 15 years in prison after they were found guilty of attempting to overthrow the Montenegrin government in 2016.

Russian military intelligence staffer Eduard Shishmakov and Vladimir Popov were sentenced to 15 and 12 years in prison in absentia.

Two Montenegrin opposition Democratic Front leaders, Andrija Mandic and Milan Knezevic, were given sentences of up to five years.

Bratislav Dikic, the former commander of an elite Serbian police unit, the Gendarmerie, was sentenced to eight years in prison. He was arrested in Montenegro in October.

Two Serbian citizens, Nemanja Ristic and Predrag Bogicevic, received sentences of eight and seven years in absentia.

Six other defendants received smaller jail term terms. The 14th indictee, Ananije Nikic, will be tried in absentia in a separate case. In 2018, he received asylum in Russia.

Mandic and Knezevic denounced the verdicts, said they would appeal and urged neighbouring Serbia to speak out.

“This is a breaking point for Montenegro,” Mandic told a press conference after. “We don’t accept arrests,” he said.

Via Al Jazeera / Balkan Insight


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