Unidentified Assailants Shoot, Wound Montenegrin Journalist
Unidentified assailants on Tuesday shot and wounded a Montenegrin journalist who has written about crime and corruption in the small Balkan country.
Olivera Lakic, a journalist for the Montenegrin newspaper Vijesti, was wounded in the right leg outside her home in the capital, Podgorica. Lakic was taken to a hospital and was reported out of danger.
Police said the attack happened around 9 p.m. A search for the attackers was underway, including stepped up controls throughout the city and a review of surveillance cameras in the area, police said.
Vijesti’s chief editor, Mihailo Jovovic, said Lakic told him a man approached her and shot her in the leg, while two other men ran away.
Lakic, 49, was beaten six years ago after she wrote a series of articles about alleged murky dealings over a tobacco factory. That attacker was jailed for several months and Lakic had police protection for a while.
“I am speechless. For how much longer will this be happening?” Jovovic said in comments published on the Vijesti website. “A lot of stories she wrote have not been investigated (by the authorities). For how much longer must we live in fear of such cowards?”
Prime Minister Dusko Markovic condemned the attack and urged a “swift and efficient investigation” to discover the motive as well as who might have ordered it.
The U.S. Embassy in Podgorica tweeted that it was “following with concern the attack tonight on journalist Olivera Lakic.” It said journalists “are the guardians of democracy and must be protected so they can do their jobs in safety.”
Aivo Orav, head of the European Union delegation in Montenegro, called the attack “very worrying.” In the tweet, Orav said that “journalists must be protected.”
Montenegro is a former Yugoslav republic that joined NATO last year and is now also seeking EU membership. The long-ruling Democratic Party of Socialists has faced accusations of widespread crime and corruption.