The Digital Forensic Center responsibly claims that not a single Molotov cocktail was thrown at the police prior to the press release from Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapic’s Office and its posting on the Vijesti news portal at 6:16 a.m. Based on the information we received from our people that were present at several locations in Cetinje, that morning we stated that based on the facts, a Molotov cocktail was not thrown at the police. We still maintain it. By analyzing the video that was published tonight by the Vijesti news portal at 8: 44 p.m. and was sent to the DFC, we have concluded the following:
- The alleged Molotov cocktail that was the motive behind the police action was never thrown and it could not be seen on the video posted by Vijesti.
- Analysis of the video showed that the clash between police and protesters had already broken out and that the Molotov cocktail from the video cannot be linked with the press release from the Prime Minister’s Office published by Vijesti, which was followed by the reaction from the DFC. By the time the video was made, riots in Cetinje had already erupted and had been winding down, i.e., in the period between 9:15 and 9:30 am.
- The time when the video was made was determined based on the digital records of the surveillance cameras, the comparison of videos from different cameras, including the additional forensic analysis of the posted video.
- The first time that the police fired tear gas at protesters was at the Dvorski trg, while there were no clashes with protesters in other streets of Cetinje.
- The video in question was made in Decanska street, a side street in Cetinje where clashes between police and protesters broke out somewhat later, which can be seen in the video posted by Vijesti.
- During the interview with Deputy Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic, Vijesti TV also published a photo that was given to them by the Deputy Prime Minister, and that allegedly proves that the Molotov cocktail provoked the police action. The photo in question was taken at 9:14 a.m. which is 3h after the press release from the Prime Minister’s Office, clearly showing that the public was manipulated and fed with disinformation.
- Apart from our people in the field, the Molotov cocktail, which was thrown, according to the Prime Minister’s Office, was neither seen nor heard by the policy members that were present in the square and that we talked with, nor by citizens at the square and other reporters, including the TV Vijesti reporter who also said that she neither saw nor heard the alleged Molotov cocktail.
Finally, we want to stress that no special digital forensics is necessary to verify all that we said and that this is a classic example of disinformation that generated a great deal of panic among the Montenegrin public, especially in the Old Royal Capital. In addition, it is clear that there have been coordinated disinformation efforts of TV Vijesti and the Government. We are calling on the media outlet Vijesti to inform the public truthfully, as did its reporter Danijela Lasica that morning, and to forgo methods such as this because we will always publish, as we have done so far, only the verified facts.