On Tuesday, Montenegrin prosecutors finally issued indictments against Rajko Kuljaca, Dragan Marovic, Djordjije Pinjatic, Dragan Zinic, Slobodan Djurovic, Stevan Vucetic, Sreten Tomovica, Novak Stanojevic, Marko Kalostra, Dragan Sekulic, Miodrag Minic, and Natalia Panini in connection with the Zavala case. The suspects have been held without bail for three months while prosecutors organized their case.
Rajko Kuljaca is the Mayor of Budva and Dragan Marovic is the Deputy Mayor. Natalia Panini is the former director of “Zavala Invest”. The others are influential members of the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS).
Prosecutors allege that the individuals abused their official positions to enable Zavala Invest to build approximately 40 luxury villas at Zavala Cape. Zavala Invest is partially owned by Sergey Polanski, a prominent Russian businessman.
The investigation began with allegations from The Network for Affirmation of the Non-Government Sector (MANS) that construction at Zavala Cape began in 2007 without the legally required construction permits. MANS is a non-governmental organization promotes good governance and strengthening citizens participation in the decision-making process. Construction work at Zavala Cape has been halted while the case is in progress.
Regardless of their innocence or guilt, these individuals deserve a fair trial in a reasonable time frame. The overall facts of the case have been known for three years, the suspects have been in custody for three months, the indictments have finally been issued, and now the trial should commence as quickly as possible.