A series of unfounded criminal complaints filed against the head of the Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral (Serbian Orthodox Church) and the Mitropolinate itself.

January 10, 2019The Montenegrin Movement, a non-political association established in Podgorica in 2015 („the Movement“), filed a criminal complaint against the Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral Amfilohije Radović, in which he has been accused for, allegedly, wishing to take Montenegro into the so called „Syrian scenario“ by his public statements.

Namely, Metropolitan Amfilohije delivered a sermon after the Christmas liturgy in front of the Church of Christ’s Resurrection in Podgorica. Among other, he stated that there were „many sins“ of the current Montenegrin Government, three of which were particular: creation of a fake church, recognition of a fake state of Kosovo and sanctions against Russia.

The Movement found this statement to be a treason. In the reasoning of its criminal charges, the Movement also stated that Metropolitan Amfilohije „apparently, clearly and without scruples acts as an instrument of the great-Serbia politics, which is aimed to take Montenegro into „Syrian scenario“ and take them [Montenegrins] into internal conflicts, ruining of the state and citizens, so that Serbia can use those inconveniences and establish itself as authority in Montenegro.“

However, according to available sources, this is not the first time that the Movement filed charges against the Metropolitanate or the Metropolitan personally.

In September 2017 the Movement filed criminal charges against Metropolitan Amfilohije for alleged criminal offense of hate speech, committed during the sermons in monasteries in Crmnica and Cetinje, on 17, 19 and 21 September 2017. These charges were rejected by the High State Prosecution of Montenegro as unfounded. In its reasoning the High State Prosecution established that Metropolitan’s words of sermon were in fact calling for a peace, tolerance and mutual respect.

Afterwards, in August 2018 the Movement filed similar charges against the Metropolitan for alleged criminal offense of an insult of a nation, national minorities and other national communities and a hate speech, all on a basis of an interview which Metropolitan gave for popular daily newspaper „Danas“. High State Prosecution rejected this complaint as unfounded in December 2018. Afterwards the Movement lodged a constitutional appeal with the Constitutional Court of Montenegro. The proceedings are pending.

In the meantime, two criminal complaints against the Metropolitanate were filed in May 2018, for alleged criminal offense of office abuse, devastation and appropriation of cultural heritage, and illegal construction of an object on a public road. Allegedly, the monastery Stanjevići and a nearby cemetery, both in vicinity of Budva, as well as the monastery Dajbabe, were unlawfully registered in public cadastre as property of the Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral. However, no information is available as to how these charges were processed afterwards.

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