First appeared at Sputnik

The self-proclaimed “Prince of Montenegro,” Stefan Cernetic, has been under investigation in Italy since 2016 and is facing fraud charges. In an interview with Sputnik Italy, Cernetic gave his thoughts on the matter, saying that he is glad that he “can clarify the situation.”

Stefan Cernetic, the self-proclaimed “Prince of Montenegro,” recently found himself in the center of an investigation by the Italian police, who accused him of fraud. The investigation began at the request of the Italian Foreign Ministry in the summer of 2016.

Doubts about the authenticity of his personality arose in July 2016, when Cernetic stayed in a posh Italian resort in Puglia at the invitation of an entrepreneur from Puglia’s capital Bari.

Media reports said that Cernetic did not pay his hotel bill and used a false noble title to travel for free. He, in turn, insists that there is a conspiracy against him.

In any case, it is worth noting that Cernetic is not a diplomat of the Montenegrin Embassy, namely, he does not represent the Republic of Montenegro.

Speaking to Sputnik Italy, Cernetic described the situation around him as a “big mistake” and a “big lie,” accusing journalists of failing to say a “word of truth” on the issue.

He said that a year ago, Italian entrepreneur Vincenzo Frigulti invited him to visit his “magnificent estate” in Puglia, where he spent eight days.

“We have not stolen anything from anyone. We paid for the trip, and we paid extra money, with me personally giving another 40 euros for drinks and coffee. We did not pay for the hotel because we were guests. Every day we had meetings with local businessmen, the mayor of Monopoli and a bishop. I introduced myself as the Prince of Montenegro,” Cernetic said.

He claimed that the flag of the Montenegrin Republic, “which has existed 11 years,” is emblazoned with the coat of arms of “our Cernetic family, in opposition to the other royal Montenegrin family, the Petrovic.”

“I did not come to Puglia as Ambassador of the Republic of Montenegro, and I did not send bills for the hotel, as they write in the newspapers, to the Embassy of Macedonia. I am not a mad man. Last year, I was an envoy to the International Civil Defense Organization in Geneva, where the Russian Vladimir Kuvshinov serves as its secretary-general,” Cernetic said.

He added that he was a civil defense commissioner in Monaco and that he had a letter authenticating his diplomatic mission to the UN in Geneva from the Principality of Monaco, where his noble title is indicated. “It says that I am the Prince of Montenegro,” according to Cernetic.

Asked about why the media outlets published a different story, he explained that “the representative of the second royal Montenegrin family holds numerous conferences on Montenegro in Italy” and that “he has great influence in the Vatican and is part of the Pope’s inner circle.”

“He was the first to shake hands with [US President] Donald Trump when he visited the Vatican a few weeks ago. I have no proof, but two of my diplomats’ friends told me that the Montenegrin government paid almost half a million euros to The Daily Mail and the Telegraph. Other newspapers got no money and they just reprinted the news,” Cernetic said.

According to him, these newspapers published “false rumors and they mentioned fraud even though the police and the judiciary do not accuse me of fraud.”

“I’m interrogated on another matter; the police are sure that I provided false information about my identity. The newspapers in Greece, Montenegro and Serbia reported I am allegedly in prison in Italy. I have never been in prison in my life, and I have never had any problems with the law. There is even no date for submitting the case to the court,” he added.

He claimed that although “Montenegro got its name from the Cernetic family who built Montenegrin fortresses, this family has now disappeared even from Wikipedia, which only cites information on the last Montenegrin rulers of the 20th century, with the entire previous history removed for fear of me.”

“The government of Montenegro apparently believed that I’m more than just a swindler, given that they appealed to the Italian Foreign Ministry. I’m one of the crown princes of Montenegro, and they don’t want me to interfere in politics,” Cernetic said.

He also said that Podgorica only recognizes the second royal family, who “obviously has political and diplomatic ties with the government of Montenegro, which is known for its contacts with the smuggling mafia.” He said that he has no proof on this but that the speculation is in place.

“Probably, I broke the balance of high-ranking officials, and I was described as a person who opposes the government and the Foreign Ministry of Italy. I even received a letter from Donald Trump, and I worked with the families of the Rockefellers and the Rothschilds. Perhaps all this frightens the Montenegrin government, with whom I would like to be on friendly terms. And they started a campaign against me in the media,” Cernetic said.

He added that “anyone can find out about my roots” from at least 100 books mentioned on Cernetic’s personal website, where a used can, in particular, learn that the Montenegrin flag, which features a double-headed eagle, was brought from Russia by Princess Sophia Palaeologus, who married the Grand Duke of Moscow, Ivan III.

“Actually, we are an imperial family, not a royal one. As for the Petrovic family, their only king ruled just four years, from 1914 to 1918. Everything that was created in Montenegro was made by my family,” Cernetic pointed out.

He recalled that “as a prince and a private person, I can issue titles because Italian law does not prevent a person from doing so for private purposes.” Unlike Montenegro, the Principality of Monaco recognizes him as a prince, according to Cernetic.

When asked how he imagines his future, Cernetic said that he is very concerned because “these criminal international lobbies are extremely dangerous.”

“They managed to provoke a wave of publications in which there is not a word of truth about me. I want to continue to help Montenegro on my own and make it clear that I want to be a friend of this country. It’s a pity that the Montenegrin government considers me an enemy, alleging that I pose a danger. I do not want to rule in Montenegro, I just want to help what I see as my beloved homeland,” he concluded.

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