Cigarette smuggling hearing postponed again

PODGORICA -- The court in Bari has for the third time postponed its hearing on the preliminary investigation on a group allegedly involved in cigarette smuggling.

The group includes citizens of Montenegro, Serbia and Italy.

The judge was expected to decide on Tuesday whether the indictment would be approvd against Montenegrin citizens Veselin Barović, Branko Vujošević, Branislav Mićunović, Miroslav Ivaniševuć, Dušank Jeknić, Serbian citizens Andrija Drašković and Stanko Subotić, and seven Italian citizens, Podgorica-based website Portalanalitika stated.

According to the indictment of the regional directorate for combating the mafia in Bari, they are accused of smuggling cigarettes from 1994 to 2000.

Investigations were led against Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Đukanović as well, who testified before a court in Bari in February 2009, but the case was shelved because of the diplomatic immunity that Đukanović enjoys as prime minister.

Đukanović has stated on several occasions that he never asked for immunity in the case, and that the cigarettes job was all in accordance with local laws.