Journalists of the Czech edition of Deník N spoke to some of the citizens related to the Czech company Sofbiz, which transferred half a million euros to the organizers of the failed coup in Montenegro in October 2016. These funds, according to the Montenegrin investigation, had to be paid for the murder of the then Prime Minister and now the country’s President, Milo Djukanovic.
Sofbiz was founded in the Czech Republic as a branch of the Seychelles company and furnished to living in London Ekaterina Ostapchuk. She is the Director of two Seychelles companies: Coddan Nominee Administrator Ltd. and Coddan Nominee Subscripber Ltd. How found the journalists, in 2015 in the UK firms Ostapchuk tested because of suspicions in the withdrawal of companies going through bankruptcy.
To the Czech company Sofbiz is relevant also a citizen of Russia Ruslan Galynin, who lives in the suburbs, and Alexander Rossiyanka, who lives in Prague and assisting with the paperwork of the firm. According to him, to her he had no relations. To communicate with Aluninum and Ostapchuk journalists failed.
As financial documents Sofbiz, the firm was led in the Czech Republic, no activities. It is domiciled in Prague, but office it does not.
That Sofbiz is related to an attempt to commit a coup in Montenegro, the special Prosecutor Sasha Cadenovic announced this summer. He said that these funds first came on Bank accounts in Cyprus, and then was transferred to the group of persons involved in the coup attempt. The purpose of the coup, according to the investigation, was an attempt to prevent the accession of Montenegro to NATO and to ensure the coming to power of Pro-Russian forces. Moscow denies these accusations.
In may this year on charges of attempting to commit a coup in Montenegro, the court in absentia had indicted 14 defendants. Among them – two Russian citizen Eduard Shishmakov and Vladimir Popov, the leaders of the Pro-Russian opposition “Democratic front” Milan knežević and Andrija Mandic and several citizens of Serbia.
In November last year, the Investigative group is Bellingcat, and the Russian media, The Insider revealed the identity of one of the participants. According to the journalists wanted by the authorities of the Republic of Russian Vladimir Popov is actually named Vladimir Moiseev, and he serves in the Russian military intelligence. Previously, investigators identified the employee FCU in another Russian suspect in a coup.
A coup in Montenegro was scheduled for October 16, 2016 – the day of voting in parliamentary elections. That day the authorities announced the arrest of a group of conspirators who were preparing a series of attacks and terrorist attacks. The aim of the conspirators was to seize the Parliament and murder the Prime Minister, Milo Djukanovic.
The investigative group is Bellingcat, and publishing Insider claim that Shishmakov and priests are active members of the Main Directorate of the Russian General staff (GRU). Among the evidence of this version – passport number Shishmakova (in the name of Edward Shirokov), which is very similar to passport numbers Bashirova Ruslana and Alexander Petrov, suspected in the assassination of Sergei Skripal and Julius in Salisbury. After the failure of the coup GRU officers returned to Russia.
The main witness in this case was a Serbian nationalist Sasha Sindzhelich. He surrendered to the Montenegrin authorities soon after the mission and got the status of a witness cooperating with the investigation. It is considered a connecting link between Russian citizens and the Serbian group. At the trial he claimed that he had received from Shishmakova more than 200 thousand euros for the purchase of weapons, means of communication and forms of the Montenegrin special forces, which was to change the conspirators. Sindzhelich told the court on several visits to Moscow, “passing the passport control”.
A significant part of the evidence in this case Montenegro has received from the intelligence services of Serbia. Is recording telephone conversations, photos of meetings between members of the group seized from the conspirators the special equipment and gear.
The President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic said on 24 October 2016 on the promotion of Montenegrin authorities in the investigation. He reported the arrest in Serbia of persons who prepared the “illegal actions” against Montenegro and conducted constant surveillance of Djukanovic. Vucic emphasized the “foreign element” in this case, denying any involvement Serbia. At the same time, Serbian authorities refused to extradite Montenegro two of his citizens who were also accused in the case of the coup.
Separately conducted an investigation against Montenegrin citizen Nikica Ananias, who was a translator to the leaders of the “Impronta” and was granted asylum in Russia.
The defendants insisted in the court that the case was fabricated and politically motivated as the representatives of the opposition forces, oriented towards cooperation with Russia. Meanwhile, the Montenegrin authorities believe that before the election of 2016, “Domfront” received from abroad 15 million dollars in illegal funding.
Before sentencing the leaders of the “Impronta” declared its readiness to resist. “No one will take us to jail. We are ready to lay down their heads and take off someone’s head before someone will lead us in jail,” said Andrija Mandic.
Another representative of “Impronta” Nebojsa Medojević said that the “verdict could permanently destabilize Montenegro and provoke ethnic conflicts”. The Montenegrin authorities deny the possibility of destabilization.