Montenegro Ex-President Marovic Faces Prison
The former president of the now defunct State Union of Serbia and Montenegro, Svetozar Marovic, faces a jail term after admitting guilt in a high-profile graft case linked to his hometown of Budva.
|Svetozar Marovic. Photo: Facebook.|
Marovic, aged 61, was accused of being the kingpin of a criminal group in his hometown, the coastal resort of Budva.
Marovic was released from custody on May 17 after he signed two plea agreements. The court is now expected to decide on Marovic's prison term and on the size of the fine he should pay.
According to one agreement, which the court will evaluate, Marovic would serve 30 months in prison and pay 50,000 euros to charity.
Under other deal with the prosecution, Marovic has agreed to an additional sentence of 20 months, to "compensate the state budget" for a fine of 1.1 million euros, and pay another 50,000 euros to charity.
After five months in detention, Marovic reportedly agreed to reveal where 15 million euros that went missing from the Budva municipality ended up in exchange for a reduced jail term. It is not clear when he will start serving the sentence.
His lawyers confirmed the plea bargain deal in May but said the agreement with the prosecution excludes an admission that Marovic headed a criminal organisation.
Begovic said the almost five months that Marovic spent in the Spuz prison near Podgorica had damaged his health.
Marovic served as speaker of Montenegro’s parliament as well as president and prime minister of Serbia and Montenegro.
He was arrested on December 16 last year in connection with a long-running corruption case focusing on Budva.
Many of his relatives have now been either arrested, convicted or accused of corruption and abuse of power in relation to crimes in the resort town.
His son, Milos, his brother, Dragan, Budva's former deputy mayor, and his aunt, Mirjana, all spent months in custody following their arrests.