US Congress Looking Into Ex-CIA Officer’s Involvement in Montenegro Coup Attempt

(Sputnik) – The US Congress is trying to find out whether a former operative of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was engaged in the Montenegro failed coup attempt that took place on October 16, 2016, the general election day, local media reported Friday, citing congressional officials.

Former CIA officer Joseph Assad visited Montenegro a few days prior to the allegedly Russia-plotted coup attempt and was suspected of assisting the coup organizers in leaving the country in the aftermath, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Assad’s lawyer Vincent Citro denies the ex-operative’s involvement in the coup as well as ties with Russia, the newspaper noted, adding that Assad was in Montenegro to help his friend, who was engaged in managing the state opposition’s campaign.

Assad resigned from the CIA in 2015 and started working for a private security company, according to the newspaper.

Image: CIA

The Western states, including the United States and Montenegro put the blame for plotting the coup attempt on Russia, without bringing any evidence of that. Moscow has repeatedly refuted the allegations with the Foreign Ministry regarding the claims as aimed at discrediting Russia.

On October 16, 2016, while Montenegro was holding the general election, 20 people were detained and 14 of them arrested for planning to conduct attacks, targeting both civilian population and high-ranking statesmen, and to seize the parliament’s building.

This report prepared by Sputnik.