Recreation at the military airport

The Air Force Commander approved the use of the gymnasium to former DPS officials Predrag Bošković and Predrag Mitrović, the Ministry is silent

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Bošković and Mitrović, Photo: Boris Pejović/Savo Prelević
Bošković and Mitrović, Photo: Boris Pejović/Savo Prelević

Commander of the Air Force of the Army of Montenegro (VVCG), Lt. Col Bojan Popadić granted permanent entry to the "Knjaz Danilo" military airport in Golubovci to a group of civilians, including former high-ranking DPS officials - the former Minister of Defense Predrag Boskovic and former director of the Directorate for the Prevention of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism and the Directorate for the Diaspora Predrag Mitrovic.

This is confirmed by a document obtained by "Vijesti" - the so-called List of persons from the "Recreational Group Mitrović" who are approved to enter the airport area by vehicle "for the purpose of using the gymnasium".

The document contains the names of 26 civilians and the license plates of private cars of most of them.

The commander of the VVCG allowed the civilians, including two high-ranking DPS officials and some of their neighbors and friends, i.e. colleagues from work in the institutions they previously managed, to use the gymnasium four times a week, exclusively in the evening hours.

Among the persons on the list, "Vijesti" unofficially learns, are some members of the MUP, such as pilots in the Air Helicopter Unit. Drazen Vlahović. He used to be the commander of the Air Force of the Croatian Republic of Serbia, and after taking off his military uniform, he transferred to the Helicopter Unit of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, where he came into the public eye in September 2021 when he refused, due to "worrying security assessments", to fly a police helicopter from Podgorica transported dignitaries of the SPC - the patriarch to Cetinje Porphyria and Metropolitan of Montenegro Joanikia which was inaugurated on September 5 of that year in the Cetinje Monastery. Because of this, Vlahović was suspended from work and the Ministry of Internal Affairs initiated disciplinary proceedings against him...

According to the approval of the current commander of the VVCG, the "Recreational Group Mitrović" can enter the protected and secured area of ​​the military airport every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, from 21:23 to 15:22. They were granted this, although according to the Rules of Service of the Army of Montenegro, the working day in the units ends at XNUMX p.m., and night rest begins at XNUMX p.m.

From the Ministry of Defense (MO), which he manages Dragan Krapović (Democrats) "Vijesti", even after seven days, did not receive an answer to the question of whether that department was aware of the existence of the "Recreational Group Mitrović" and the list of 26 people who make it up, whether the Ministry of Defense gave its consent to the decision of the commander of the VVCG to this group of civilians is allowed to enter the protected military facility multiple times a week, under which commercial conditions the "Recreational Group Mitrović" uses the gymnasium at the military airport, and when and where the use of time slots in that gym was advertised for civilian structures for a fee.

List of "Mitrović Group"
List of "Mitrović Group"photo: Private archive

The Ministry of Defense did not even answer the question of which Minister of Defense gave consent for this type of civilian access to a military facility. "Vijesti" unofficially found out that this was formally done several years ago, during the term of office of Predrag Bošković.

Well-informed interlocutors of "Vijesti", however, claim that Bošković's party friend Predrag Mitrović had a privileged status since 2009, so he could, almost whenever he wanted, enter the military airport accompanied by other persons - civilians, even members families.

Mitrović is a long-time civilian pilot and was the president of the Aviation Association of Montenegro, and allegedly on several occasions, as a pilot or co-pilot, he flew on military helicopters of the "Gazelle" type, which were then in operational use by the Croatian Air Force.

What does the law say?

Article 44 of the Law on Defense stipulates that "access to military facilities and facilities designated as facilities of special importance for defense, as well as construction in areas adjacent to these facilities, is prohibited without the consent of the Ministry of Defense." Article 41 of the same law stipulates, among other things, that the Intelligence and Security Directorate (OBD) of the Ministry of Defense "performs the security protection of persons, facilities, assets and activities, as well as the performance of other security tasks in the Ministry and the Army", as well as that the OBD carries out "planning, implementation and control of security measures in the Army". In practice, this means that the "Recreational Group Mitrović" could not enter the vicinity of the military airport, without the "minister" of the military secret service and that the then current Minister of Defense did not give formal consent to that approval. However, according to the claims of a well-informed interlocutor of "Vijesti" from VCG, none of this was complied with.

"During the adoption of this extremely dubious approval, the basic legal norms were not respected when it comes to the safety of persons, facilities and assets in the Air Force", claimed the interlocutor of "Vijesti", stressing that the measures that OBD, by law, had to take before approving the entry of civilians, were not carried out. around the military airport, as well as that there is no formal approval from Minister Krapović to allow such a thing for this group of civilians.

The source "Vijesti" particularly mentions the security sensitivity of approving multiple weekly night-time entry of a group of civilians into the vicinity of the military airport, pointing out that in the immediate vicinity of the gymnasium there is the Aviation Operations Center of the Croatian Air Force, which is connected to the NATO airspace control system of the Alliance and the exchange of information with NATO. center in Torrehon, and nearby are hangars with helicopters, spare parts and similar sensitive material.

"There is no longer any control over persons from this list who enter the area of ​​the military facility and pass the gate, given the distance of the gymnasium from the entrance gate, and they can therefore seriously damage the safety of other persons and facilities at the military airport," said the interlocutor. Vijesti", emphasizing that the "Recreational Group Mitrović" was granted access to the military complex by private vehicles precisely because of the distance of the gymnasium from the entrance gate of the airport.

Another interlocutor of "Vijesti" from VCG said that the "recreations" of Mitrović, Bošković and their friends at the military airport were used for mutual agreements "in a controlled and silent environment" of the former Minister of Defense with him and officers loyal to the DPS of VCG, and that allegedly on the day when "Vijesti" questions about this came to the address of the PR service of the Ministry of Defense, in the hangar of the military airport under an urgently organized confidential meeting of the highest military leadership with officers from the VVCG, regarding how to act in this crisis situation for them and what information in this regard, they should give to Minister Krapović, in order to try to minimize the alleged scandal.

"Because the list of persons who do not have the right to enter a military facility has become public, the Chief of the General Staff of the Croatian Army, Brigadier General Zoran Lazarevic "In the future, he plans to increase the secrecy of the elaborate document, of which this list is an integral part, so that the entry into the gymnasium for certain persons becomes an official secret," said the "Vijesti" interlocutor.

The Ministry of Defense did not answer the questions of "Vijesti" about what they did on this occasion and whether, among other things, during the use of the gymnasium at the airport by persons from the "Recreational Group Mitrović" a person from the internal service of the Republic of Serbia and the Ministry of Defense was involved, in order to control these civilians and their private vehicles during their stay within the protected military facility.

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