Sunday, May 21, 2006

Sex scandal as Montenegro votes on independence.

Montenegro has a sex scandal at the same time as it is holding a referendum on independence.

Sex scandal hurts Montenegro independence bid

Milo Djukanovic is the Prime Minister of Montenegro. He wants independence from Serbia. He is being opposed by some of the people of Montenegro.

There is a sex scandal involving several members of Milo Djukanovic's party.

On live television, Milo Djukanovic has been accused by his main opponent of covering up the case of Svetlana Cebotarenko.

Svetlana is a Moldovan woman smuggled into Montenegro and allegedly forced to have sex with top politicians and businessmen.

Svetlana told police in 2003 that she had been held in captivity for three years and regularly beaten, burnt, drugged and raped.

She was helped by a women’s rights group to leave the country.

Predrag Bulatovic has led the campaign to keep Serbia and Montenegro together.

Predrag Bulatovic held up a letter written to Djukanovic by a former public prosecutor. The letter warns the prime minister that a trial of those implicated in the sex scandal would “compromise certain reputations”.

Prime Minister Djukanovic, who is being investigated by the Italian authorities over allegations of cigarette smuggling in the early 1990s, says he has never seen the letter. “If somebody wants to visit prostitutes, there is nothing I can do,” he said.

Prime Minister Djukanovic presents himself as a pro-western reformer, and has been encouraged by the USA to push for independence.

Javier Solana, the European Commission’s foreign policy chief, is less keen on independence.

Polls have shown 51% to 56% of the 485,000 voters supporting independence.

Montenegro could become the world’s 193rd state.

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