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An eye-opening dispatch from ANSA, the Italian News Agency, which is being reported here publicly for the first time

Djukanovic's Attorney: Anti-Mafia Bureau must now drop mafia crimes indictment because referendum gives Montenegrin PM criminal immunity

ANSA dispatch posted below in English and Italian
English translation by Samantha Criscione

Explanatory notes and comments by Samantha Criscione
Edited by Jared Israel

Serbo-Croatian translation at

[31 May 2006]


Montenegro: Djukanovic’s lawyer, now the Premier has criminal immunity; DDA in Bari [the District Anti-Mafia Bureau in Bari, Italy] must now declare that the Mafia investigation can not be carried out. [1]

ANSA, Notiziario Generale in Italiano, May 22, 2006, Cronaca, Bari

“The referendum has confirmed the premise of the Prime Minister, Milo Djukanovic, about the sovereignty of Montenegro: therefore no doubt can now remain about the immunity, granted to heads of state and of government, which Djukanovic enjoyed and enjoys.

This is the conviction of Enrico Tuccillo, the Neapolitan lawyer who is defending Milo Djukanovic, who is under investigation in Bari for criminal association of the mafioso type [“Criminal association of the mafioso type” is the legal term for a specific crime – associazione per delinquere di tipo mafioso – which in this ANSA article is shortened to associazione mafiosa] for the purpose of trafficking in contraband cigarettes and of money laundering, crimes which he is accused of carrying out between the end of the 1990s and the year 2000.

[TENC Note: The use of the term “under investigation” may mislead readers in the U.S., where it is mainly used to describe police work conducted before a suspect is charged. In Italian jurisprudence, “under investigation” is used that way too, but it is also used in reference to the work done by a prosecutor's office in preparing for trial. During this pre-trial investigation, a judge will order that a defendant be jailed if there is a danger that the defendant will flee, commit further crimes, or destroy evidence. 

By March 2004, anti-Mafia prosecutors in Naples had indicted Djukanovic and applied for an order to jail him, to prevent him from committing further crimes and destroying evidence. The arrest application was rejected by a Neapolitan judge and then by a lower court (the Court of Review), which ruled that Djukanovic was immune from prosecution and also that there was no danger he would commit further crimes or destroy evidence if allowed to remain free. This was overruled by the Supreme Court on 28 December 2004, and the Supreme Court explicitly approved Djukanovic's arrest. In July 2005, Djukanovic's two mafia cases – the one in Naples and another in Bari – were united in a joint case conducted by the District Anti-Mafia Bureau in Bari.

By tomorrow (1 June 2006) we will publish the English translation of the
ANSA dispatch that includes excerpts from that Supreme Court ruling, supporting the charge that Djukanovic is a high-placed international gangster. The English translation will include a summary and explanation of legal terms used by the Supreme Court.]

The Supreme Court of Cassation [Corte di Cassazione, the Italian Supreme Court] [2] had ruled on the question of immunity from criminal jurisdiction last year, affirming that Djukanovic has no right to enjoy the immunity reserved to heads of state and of government because Montenegro is neither a sovereign state nor an autonomous and independent subject.  [In addition, the Supreme Court ruled that Djukanovic should be jailed since he is a very dangerous international criminal ‘of the Mafia type.’]

According to the lawyer, also following the results of the referendum which has proclaimed independence from Serbia, “all investigations, made or carried out by the public prosecutor’s offices in Naples and Bari, which have led to nothing, must be declared unprosecutable, because President Djukanovic enjoys an immunity of an absolute nature. This means that one cannot proceed, neither on the merit, nor against the person.” 

“Djukanovic” – continues the lawyer – “has always confirmed that he is not afraid of the content of the accusations, which are nonexistent.  But he couldn’t accept the interpretation, according to which Montenegro was not a state and according to which no immunity from criminal jurisdiction was granted to its president of the republic and to its head of government.

“Tonight” – Tuccillo concludes – “following an invitation by President Djukanovic, together with my office–partners, who have followed the judicial case, I will proceed to Montenegro to celebrate the emotion of a sovereign people who proclaim to the world their own liberty and their own independence.” (ANSA)

©  Copyright 2006 ANSA  -- Translated by and reprinted for educational purposes, For Fair Use Only


Below is the Italian original of the 22 May ANSA dispatch:

Montenegro: Legale Djukanovic, Ora Premier Ha Immunita' Penale; DDA Bari Dichiari Improcedibilita' Indagini Per Mafia, ANSA Notiziario Generale in Italiano, May 22, 2006, Cronaca, 326 words, BARI

(ANSA) - BARI, 22 MAG - "Il referendum ha confermato  l'assunto del primo ministro, Milo Djukanovic, circa la  sovranita' del Montenegro: quindi ora nessun dubbio puo  rimanere circa l'immunita' dei capi di Stato e di governo di cui  godeva e gode Djukanovic". Ne e' convinto il penalista  napoletano Enrico Tuccillo, difensore di Milo Djukanovic,  indagato a Bari per associazione mafiosa finalizzata al traffico  di sigarette di contrabbando e al riciclaggio di danaro, reati  contestati tra la fine degli anni Novanta e il 2000.

    Sull'immunita' dalla giurisdizione penale si era pronunciata  lo scorso anno la Cassazione che aveva affermato che a  Djukanovic non spetta l'immunita' riservata ai capi di Stato e  di governo, non essendo il Montenegro uno Stato sovrano e un  soggetto autonomo ed indipendente.

    A giudizio del legale, anche a seguito del risultato del  referendum che ha proclamato l'indipendenza dalla Serbia,  "tutte le indagini compiute dalle Procure di Napoli e Bari, che  non hanno portato a nulla, devono essere dichiarate  improcedibili perche il presidente Djukanovic gode di  un'immunita' di carattere assoluto. Cio' vuol dire che non si  puo' procedere ne nel merito ne contro la persona".

    "Djukanovic - continua il legale - ha sempre confermato di  non temere il merito delle accuse che sono inesistenti, ma non  poteva accettare l'interpretazione secondo cui il Montenegro non  fosse uno Stato, e che al suo presidente della Repubblica e al  capo del suo governo non fosse riconosciuta l'immunita' dalla  giurisdizione penale".

    "Stasera - conclude Tuccillo - su invito del presidente  Djukanovic, assieme ai miei colleghi di studio che hanno seguito  in caso giudiziario, mi rechero' in Montenegro per festeggiare  l'emozione di un popolo sovrano che proclama al mondo la propria  liberta' e la propria indipendenza". (ANSA).

©  Copyright 2006 ANSA  - Reprinted for educational purposes, For Fair Use Only

Footnotes and further reading follows the fundraising appeal


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Footnotes and Further Reading


[1] The official website of the Italian Ministry of Justice gives the following description of the Direzione Nazionale Antimafia, Anti-mafia National Bureau, in English:


The Anti-mafia National Bureau [Direzione Nazionale Antimafia or DNA] was set up under Law no. 8 of 20th January 1992, under the aegis of the General Public Prosecutor's Office based at the Court of Cassation. It has the duty of co-ordinating investigations relating to organised crime at a national level.

The Bureau is headed by the National Anti-mafia Public Prosecutor, appointed directly by the Superior Council of the Magistracy. His or her assistants employed within the Directorate are made up of magistrates with expertise in dealing with proceedings involving organised crime.

The Anti-Mafia Public Prosecutor is able to use the investigative resources of the Anti-Mafia Investigation Bureau [Direzione Investigativa Antimafia or DIA]. The latter organisation was set up under the Department of Public Security in the Ministry of the Interior. It is responsible for ensuring co-ordination in investigations into organised crime, with particular emphasis on offences involving mafia-type conspiracies and association.

The Public Prosecutor's responsibilities include the following: collaboration with the magistrates employed in anti-mafia investigations, the resolution of any conflicts regarding the conduct of the investigations and the taking over of initial investigations by District Public Prosecutors if instructions given have not been observed or where co-ordination has not been effective.

The National Anti-Mafia Public Prosecutor is subject to the supervision of the General Public Prosecutor based at the Court of Cassation. The latter official reports to the Superior Council of the Magistracy in relation to the activities effected and results achieved both by the Anti-Mafia Bureau and the District Anti-Mafia Bureaus set up in the Public Prosecutor's Offices based at the Courts in the 26 main towns round which the Appeal Court Districts are centred.”

[2] The official website of the Italian Ministry of Justice gives the following description of the Suprema Corte di Cassazione, Supreme Court of Cassation, in English:

“Court of Cassation

This is Italy's Supreme Court and is entrusted with ensuring the precise observance and uniform interpretation of the law. Questions relating to conflict of jurisdiction, competence and powers within the Magistracy are also referred to it for adjudication. It hears appeals both in civil and criminal matters against decisions reached by lower courts but only on points of law (assessment of legitimacy). It is thus concerned to ensure that the Court dealing with the merits of the case has correctly applied and interpreted the law in reaching its decision. It is a collegiate body dealing with ordinary jurisdiction. It is divided into so-called "simple" divisions (6 criminal, 3 civil and 1 for labour disputes). In cases of particular importance it sits in United Session. Its offices are in Rome and it has jurisdiction over the whole territory of the Italian Republic.”

For a brief description in English of the Italian Justice system, see:

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