Justice Minister Duško Marković and US Ambassador Sue Brown have signed a bilateral agreement in support of the Montenegrin government’s efforts to fight organized crime and corruption. The project will last until September 2012 and is funded by $1.7M dollars from the United States.
On the American side, the project will be executed mostly by the US Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), which should provide an indication of who the agreement was designed to target. The project will provide equipment, training, and expert assistance to Montenegrin police, judges, and prosecutors.
Marković was careful to explain that this joint project does not in any way impinge upon the independence of the the Montenegrin police, prosecutors, or judiciary. “They have no powers in respect of an investigation … There are just to offer us training for certain subjects, especially when it comes to drugs, organized crime and corruption. This means that they are not an integral part of our operational authority and they can not be part of our investigative teams. The government is responsible for the their efforts concerning the expert training, equipment and funds to be used specifically for that purpose.”