Ex- prosecutor receives US$16,000 in compensation

A former deputy state prosecutor received nearly US$16,000 in compensation Tuesday for his imprisonment during a sex-trafficking investigation. Zoran Piperovic was the highest-ranking suspect in the scandal, which shook the tiny Balkan republic in late 2002, but also led to international outrage over Montenegro's handling of the case.

Piperovic, who was also fired over the scandal, had demanded US$230,000 (Ђ200,000). He said that the amount of Ђ13,400 (US$15,900), as determined by the Podgorica Court, was "shameful and scandalous." "This is unacceptable," he told reporters. "This was a humiliating ruling."

Piperovic was jailed for four months in 2002-2003 along with three other suspects, after a Moldovan woman who escaped a brothel accused them of taking part in a sex trade network that has flourished here during the past decade of the Balkan wars.

Although the allegations led to an investigation, formal charges against Piperovic and the others were never brought, triggering suspicions of a cover up by the authorities and prompting international demands for renewed court proceedings. Piperovic had repeatedly claimed that he was innocent. He was fired in 2003, months after the court investigation ended. It was not immediately clear whether charges against him could be revived, reports the AP. N.U.

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