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04:46, 19 August 2017 Saturday
Update: 06:04, 21 July 2017 Friday

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Montenegro coup plot trial adjourned for September
Montenegro coup plot trial adjourned for September

The 14 suspects, who risk lengthy jail terms, include pro-Russian opposition leaders Andrija Mandic and Milan Knezevic as well as two Russian nationals who will be tried in absentia.

World Bulletin / News Desk

The trial of 14 people over their role in an alleged bid to overthrow Montenegro's government was on Thursday adjourned till September after the defence sought more time to prepare its case.

The trial was already adjourned Wednesday after defence lawyers argued that the prosecutor, Milivoje Katnic, was biased and should be replaced.

But the Balkan country's chief prosecutor rejected the demand as baseless.

On Thursday, one of the defence lawyers, Dusan Radosavljevic, sought the trial's adjournment to "prepare the defence" as he was named to defend his client only a few days ahead of the trial.

Knezevic dropped his previous lawyer as the prosecutors seized his phone reportedly in connection with a probe in another case.

The prosecutor has also published transcripts of a conversation between the lawyer and Knezevic.

Judge Suzana Mugosa adjourned the trial for September 6 "in order not to violate the right of the defence".

Montenegrin police arrested a group of Serbians on the eve of a general election in October, accusing them of planning to storm parliament and target the pro-Western Milo Djukanovic, who was then prime minister.

Authorities allege that "Russian state bodies" were involved in the conspiracy in a bid to prevent Montenegro from joining NATO.

The trial has drawn huge public and media interest in the tiny former Yugoslav republic with the population of 660,000.



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