The case of lawyer Piletić: Laundered money or victim of revenge

Less than a month and a half after the alleged members of the police drug cartel failed to "buy" the confirmation of the verdict in the "coup d'état" case, the husband of a judge member of the panel of the Appellate Court, which overturned the first-instance verdict for attempted terrorism on October 16, 2016, was arrested.

37689 views 10 comment(s)
Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate
Piletić arrested by order of the Special State Prosecutor's Office (Illustration), Photo: Boris Pejović
Piletić arrested by order of the Special State Prosecutor's Office (Illustration), Photo: Boris Pejović

Less than a month and a half after the alleged members of the police drug cartel failed to "buy" the confirmation of the verdict in the "coup d'état" case, by order of the then Special State Prosecutor's Office (SDT), he was arrested Đorđije Piletić, husband of a judge of the Court of Appeal Seke Piletić, otherwise a member of the council that overturned the first-instance verdict for attempted terrorism on the day of the parliamentary elections in 2016.

Judge Piletić and her husband were arrested by a secret agent Petar Lazovic and a runaway cop Ljubo Milović mentioned in correspondence via the encrypted Sky application, which Vijesti has access to.

It follows from that communication that the two of them said that they could not waste money just to confirm the first-instance verdict in the coup d'état case, by which, among other things, two opposition leaders at the time were sentenced to five years in prison each.

After the panel, which included Judge Piletić, overturned the first-instance verdict against the accused in the "coup d'état" case, Milović wrote to Lazović that he had been told the day before that he would not be able to do otherwise.

"The husband said that they are not immune to money, but that he cannot do it," writes Milović on February 5, 2021.

A month and a few days later, on March 11, 2021, lawyer Đorđije Piletić was arrested by order of the SDT, which charged him with being part of a criminal group that laundered money and forged documents.

At the time, he was the head of the prosecution that issued the arrest warrant for Piletić Milivoje Katnic.

Katnić and the arrested special prosecutor Sasa Cadjenovic they led the entire process of arresting suspects, investigation and indictment for attempted terrorism on October 16, 2016.

Čađenović and Katnić during the trial in the case known as the 'coup'
Čađenović and Katnić during the trial in the case known as the "coup d'état"photo: Printscreen

A few days after Piletić was deprived of his freedom, the then Minister of Justice Vladimir Leposavic he assessed that it was "revenge of the GST of Milivoj Katnić for demolishing the coup d'état case".

He cited this as an example of unprofessionalism and "possible abuse" of the function of the then Chief Special Prosecutor in a letter to the Venice Commission (VK):

"The latest in a series of examples of possible abuse of SDT's duties is particularly graphic, but also alarming. Namely, after the Appellate Court sent back the 'coup d'état' case for a retrial, due to a gross violation of the rules of procedure and evidence, the SDT initiated a criminal investigation against the husband of the judge of the Court of Appeal who ruled in the mentioned case, and for the crime which the judge's husband allegedly committed did 10 years ago. This is not only a possible abuse of the official position of the SDT and a threat to the right of every person to a fair trial, but also a direct and gross threat to the independence of the judiciary. As the Minister of Justice, I have a special duty to point this out, and I will inform the rest of the international public about the same," Leposavic wrote at the time.

And one of the opposition leaders at the time, who was sentenced to five years in prison by the first-instance decision, Milan Knezevic, the day after Piletić's arrest, he linked it to the annulment of the verdict.

On social network X, Twitter at the time, he wrote that "the husband of judge Seka Piletić, who passed the ruling revoking the coup d'état" was arrested on the orders of Milivoj Katnić.

"...And that for an alleged act from 10 years ago. Bruce Lee began the Katunan Revenge. Colleagues, since you withdrew the signatures, are we still going to wait for the Supreme Court?", asked Knežević on March 12, 2021.

Knežević and current President of the Parliament of Montenegro Andrija Mandic by the revoked verdict, they were sentenced to five years in prison each, for, as it is written in the indictment, membership in a criminal organization since February 2016.

Knežević and Mandić
Knežević and Mandićphoto: Boris Pejović

The organizers of that group, Russians Eduard Shishmakov i Vladimir Popov, were sentenced to a total of 27 years in prison.

Former commander of the Serbian Gendarmerie Bratislav Dikić he was sentenced to a single sentence of eight, and his compatriots Predrag Bogićević i Nemanja Ristic to seven years in prison each.

By the same decision, citizens of Serbia Srboljub Đorđević i Milan Dušić were sentenced to a year and a half in prison, Branka Milić to three years in prison, Dragan Maksic to one year and nine months in prison, while Kristina Hristić sentenced conditionally.

DF driver Mihailo Čađenović he was sentenced to one year and six months in prison.

The indictment states that the two Russians organized a criminal group and recruited other members for the purpose of gaining illegal profits and power, violently overthrowing the government and declaring the electoral victory of the then Democratic Front and preventing Montenegro from joining the NATO alliance.

The criminal organization, it is stated, planned to clash with the Montenegrin police and forcefully occupy the Parliament of Montenegro on the day of the parliamentary elections on October 16, 2016, with the help of the then Democratic Front, as well as to kidnap and kill the current prime minister. Milo Đukanović.

Accusations against Piletić

The SDT identified Miomir Đurašević from Sveti Stefan as the organizer of the criminal group to which Judge Piletić's husband allegedly belongs, while the suspected members of the Piletić group are Dejan Kašćelan aka Komarac from Vienna, Mirko Barac, Dragan Jovanović and Nedžad Ejupi.

They are accused of having formed a group in 2016, which operated in several branches in the international chain of money laundering and forgery of documents.

After an investigation was opened in March 2021 against Đurašević, Piletić and lawyer from the Bar Vladimir Milošević due to suspicious transactions of almost one million euros - loan agreements, which the suspects entered into with a businessman from Russia with the intention of putting dirty money into legal channels, SDT allegedly came across new suspicious data - that the Montenegrin branch of the criminal group was involved in an international money laundering chain through the European SEPA system.

One of the methods of money laundering, as SDT suspects, during 2016 was the introduction into legal flows of "colored banknotes", which originate from bandit robberies in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey, and SDT found numerous photos of chests with that money in locked phones of the suspected group.

The news previously announced that the SDT suspects that members of the Montenegrin group, for a certain percentage, participated in the international action to remove paint - chemical agents from colored banknotes, and then in the network of searching for creditworthy clients in commercial banks across Europe, where they will insert dirty money through the SEPA system money to their accounts.

Vučurović: The Montenegrin judiciary has completely sunk

The scandal related to the first-instance verdict for attempted terrorism in October 2016 speaks of the complete collapse of the Montenegrin judiciary, and it is the last moment to change things in the judiciary as soon as possible, said MP Jovan Vučurović of the New Serbian Democracy (NSD).

"There are still people in the Special State Prosecutor's Office, the prosecutor's offices, the High Court, the Judicial Council, who did such dirty work for the former regime," Vučurović told Vijest, commenting on the transcripts of the conversation between Milović and Lazović.

Vucurovicphoto: BORIS PEJOVIC

Vučurović points out that the whole of Montenegro knew that it was a staged, political process and confrontation with the then Democratic Front (DF) and its leaders.

"It is also clear that the top of the former regime, the mafia and criminal circles from the SDT, the courts, the police and the National Security Agency were behind everything," said Vučurović.

He added that when such evidence emerges, the prosecution must react, because seven years of destroyed political and private life cannot just be returned to Mandić, Knežević, Mihail Čađenović and others who were in custody.

"We are now convinced that the first-instance judgment was also 'oiled' in a similar way and that the monetary upper limit for the sale of such a judgment did not exist. Our coalition was the most dangerous opponent of the mafia and the former regime, and that is why we are under such an attack by those structures, but they failed to break us. And because of that, and for the sake of Montenegro and its citizens, we remain consistent fighters against organized crime and we expect that fight to be a triumph of justice and truth," said Vučurović.

Bonus video: