Gruevski’s hearing for the “Slaps” case is being filmed with two handheld cameras and no sound

Skopje, 7 December, 2017 - 16:38 (META) 

Today’s court hearing, concerning the violence in front of the Municipality of Centar in June, 2013, a case known to the general public as “Slaps”, in which Nikola Gruevski, Mile Janakieski, Daniela Rangelova and a dozen others were charged, was filmed with two handheld cameras, after lawyers for the defense yesterday and today called for hearings to be postponed in the cases “Trajectory” and “Total” because there were no conditions for visual-audio recording of the procedure.

Judge Tatjana Mihajlova explained, the trial is filmed with two handheld cameras, but only visually, and no tone.

Gruevski’s lawyer Dimitar Dangov reacted to this, and said that as soon as it is being films, records should not be kept and that the main hearing should be postponed because previous records were not signed by the parties involved in the procedure and therefore have no legal effect.

Judge Mihajlova rejected the lawyer’s request and said that the filming was made possible by the new Criminal Procedure Code of 2013, but the conditions are what they are, and the records are kept in strict form.

“The court has this kind of equipment. If you look at the previous transcripts, I have said that there was no opportunity to record the hearings”, said Mihajlova.

Fetai: The court and the defense are coordinating among themselves for postponing of the “Shamari” case

Skopje, 28 June, 2017 - 15:33 (META) 

Judge Tatjana Mihajlova has postponed today the hearing of the “Shamari” case since all the documents concerning this case were sent to the Appeal court, that should be deciding upon the appeals by the Special Public Prosecution.The suspects, in this case, are the former Prime Minister and current leader of VMRO-DPMNE, Nikola Gruevski, the former Minister of Transport and Communications, Mile Janakieski, MP Daniel Rangelova and 11 other people that were accused of the violence that occurred in front of the municipality of Centar, in June 2013.

The Special Prosecutor, Fatime Fetai asked for an explanation from the judge why all of the documents were sent to the Appeal court when it is enough to send the minutes from the hearing when she and Katica Janeva were fined in the amount of 2000 euros.

Mihajlova didn’t provide an explanation but she stated that the conditions necessary for holding a hearing haven’t been met and she postponed the next hearing for the 28th of September.

Fetai stated for the media that obviously there is a coordination between the court and the defense of the accused only for one purpose – to delay the start of the legal proceedings aginst the accused.

Zernovski expects SDSM’s support for a new mandate in the Municipality of Center

Skopje, 17 February, 2017 - 11:29 (META) 

The Mayor of the Municipality of Center, Andrej Zernovski, via his “Facebook” page reacted to today’s article in Dnevnik, where it states that he doesn’t have SDSM’s support for local elections, and the party will probably decide to candidate either Sasha Bogdanovikj, the manager of “The Municipality of Centar’s Parking Service” or the former MP, Sofija Kunovska.

He states that SDSM’s procedures for a selection of candidates for mayors and advisors has begun and will last until mid-March.

“Today, I will submit my program in accordance with the party’s procedures. I expect SDSM’s support for my candidacy and I believe I will have it”, wrote Zernovski.

Indictments by SPO Against Gruevski and Janakieski for the Violence in the Centre

Skopje, 15 September, 2016 - 21:18 (META) 

At today’s press conference, Special Prosecutor, Fatime Fetai presented the first two indictments by the SPO. One is for destroying documentation connected to the equipment used for the illegal wiretapping, the second is for violence outside the Municipality of the Centre which occurred in June of 2016.

Even though Fetai did not disclose the identity of the accused, and their initials were not published, it is certain that in the second indictment, the first accused is the former Prime Minister, and current leader of the ruling VMRO-DPMNE party, Nikola Gruevski, and former Minister of Transport and communication, Mile Janakieski. This arises from the wiretapped recordings, which the prosecutor pointed out while presenting the indictments.

“It’s regarding the telephone conversation between two members of the executive government, which were made on June 1, 2013, at 20:50pm and lasts a duration of 4 minutes and 4 seconds. The conversation took place following a scheduled meeting of the Municipal Council Centre, where such issues on the agenda were the halts called on several urban development plans, including one for Mal Ring. The first accused in June asked the other defendants to urge party members to violently rough up the Mayor of the Centre and councilors of the Municipality of the Centre who belong to the opposite political camp”, said Fetai, adding the first accused motives were of a lucrative nature, and to protect his business interests.

The conversation between Gruevski and Janakieski can be heard  in Bombshell 23, which the SDSM released and was presented by the President of the Municipal Board of SDSM Centre, Sasa Bogdanovic.

Gruevski: I was thinking, eve though it won’t be accepted by the Constitution, on Friday he should be slapped up in front of the camera’s…. Get the public involved, one citizen could come out and slap him three of four times, and leave.
Janakieski: We can come up with a scenario, I mean I planned our lot to go out and protest…
Gruevski: But, don’t talk about this to anyone!
Janakieski: No, of course.
Gruevski: Becuase, if this gets leaked, if will all be for nothing, he’ll know and put a stop to it.
Janakieski: So, well, it is just like little Dzokica (comic character) thinks of something, makes a decision and writes whatever he wants with the decision
Gruevski: Get Martin and Sule ready for a fight tomorrow
Janakieski: I will, I have the material.
Gruevski: On Friday, we will gather 2000 people right in front of the Centre, part of them will get inside, becuase citizens have a right to go in, then we’ll see, we should think about getting one of them to slap him three or four times hard, and in front of everyone. What can he do, there will be no bodily harm for a criminal offence, it will be a misdemeanour.
Janakieski: Ah… So, should the counselors do the same as they do for the budget…
Gruevski: What do you mean?
Janakieski: Our counselors…should do the same as they do for the budget. And say it’s against the law, they don’t respect the Constitution, who are they to respect the constitution…
Gruevski: Yes, Yes…. We’ll make his session fall apart…
Janakieski: That’s it.
Gruevski: He won’t be able to hold a session
Janakieski: Ok, I’ll prepare Martin…

Janeva announces an “increase of people frequenting” the SPO

Skopje, 15 August, 2016 - 16:36 (META) 

Special Public Prosecutor Katica Janeva, today announced that in the upcoming period, the SPO will have an increase of people frequenting their offices regarding their cases.

In a written statement, they added that they would not reveal specific details because of the confidentiality of preliminary investigations.

“In the upcoming period, there will be an increase in the frequency of people at this Public Prosecutor’s Office. According to the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) people who are being called will benefit the SPO and their findings to clarify the circumstances on the occasion of all the procedures that are open during this period. The procedures mentioned are cases which have been made public and some which have not, but all related to the unauthorised wiretapped conversations. Due to the confidentiality of preliminary investigations, specific details will not be revealed”, Janeva said today.

Otherwise, tomorrow the SPO has summoned the Mayor of the Center Andrej Zernovski. He, as reported by the municipality has been summoned over the ordered ‘slaps’ against him and the demolition of the barrack of the municipality in 2013.

The Mayor of the Center has already been once at the SPO, where he gave a statement concerning the project “Skopje 2014” and the urban planning of “Mal Ring”.

Zernovski called by the SPO on Tuesday regarding the “Slaps” case

Skopje, 14 August, 2016 - 15:55 (META) 

The Mayor of the Municipality of the Centre, Andrej Zernovski has been called by the Special Prosecution’s Office on Tuesday, this time in connection with a new case regarding the Municipality.

The Municipality stated that Zernaovski has been called in connection with the ordered ‘slaps’ against him and the demolition of municipal barracks.

“As one can here in one of the ‘bombs’ from the opposition, the former Prime Minister, Nikola Gruevski can be heard speaking to the former Minister of Transport and Communication, Mile Janakieski, ordering and organizing a protest in front of the municipal building in the centre, allegedly to protest the demolition of a new church, and to ‘give a slap or two’ to the new Mayor of the Centre in front of members of the Council and Media” reads the statement.

As for the vandalism and the demolishment of the municipality, Mayor Zernovski had written to the former Minister of Interior, Gordana Jankuloska, asking for those responsible to be held accountable.

Zernovski: The good news is that the audit reports for project “Skopje 2014” are now in the right hands

Skopje, 26 July, 2016 - 13:27 (META) 

The good news is that we are here today and the audit reports are finally in the right hands and we can expect justice to be served, stated the Mayor of the Municipality of the Center, Andrej Zernovski, in a statement he gave today at the Special Public Prosecutor’s Office in connection with the project “Skopje 2014”.

He said that he had provided the SPO with two audit reports prepared at the request of the Municipality, regarding the controversial project. The Mayor did not want to share details of the statement he gave the prosecution because it is still the preliminary investigation, which is confidential.

“At the SPO I submitted two audit reports, one of which was prepared in August 2011. The material had been handed over to the Public Prosecution, but for three years they have been placed in a draw and the Prosecution have ignored it. Otherwise, the material is accurate in regards to the corrupt practices concerning the project “Skopje 2014”. The project was originally estimated to cost $80 million, but now it costs eight times more, now it costs 640 million euros”, said Zernovski.

Zernovski has been called by the SPO regarding project “Skopje 2014”

Skopje, 24 July, 2016 - 14:30 (META) 

The Mayor of the Center, Andrej Zernovski on Tuesday, has been called to the Special Prosecutor’s Office where he is expected to give a statement about the projects in the DUP (Detailed Urban Plan) “Mal Ring”, said the Municipality of the Center.

“It’s an area in the city center, where there are monuments and buildings from the government project “Skopje 2014”, reads the statement by the Municipality Center.

They stressed that after Mayor Zernovski took office, audit reports from the government project “Skopje 2014” were commissioned and it was concluded that there were a series of irregularities and violations of the laws.

Audit reports from the Municipality Center in 2013 were submitted to the Public Prosecution.

“The Public Prosecution remain silent on this case and have not processed it, which has prevented the initiation of legal proceedings. Mayor Zernovski hopes that the establishment and operation of the SPO, will finally sort out the criminal project “Skopje 2014”, reported the Municipality.

The Government has decided to give GTC a Baroque style facade

Skopje, 4 July, 2016 - 10:04 (META) 

The Government has come to the decision that the City Shopping Center (GTC) will be refreshed with a Baroque-style facade, reports TV “Telma“.

Within the decision to continue with constructions from project “Skopje 2014”, it was published in the “Official Gazette” that GTC will receive a new facade, all part of the same project, and same style from across the city.

The Municipality Centre in April last year announced a referendum on the appearance of the City shopping center, however, it failed, as 40 percent of the 43,560 registered voters exercised their right, and they did it loudly. The final ballot was 10 percent less than the what was necessary for the success of the referendum.

Then, the Mayor of the Municipality of Centar, Andrej Zernovski noted that more than 95 percent of those who voted in the referendum wanted to preserve the authenticity of the GTC.

After the failed referendum, activists from the initiative “I love GTC” asked that GTC be declared a cultural heritage site in order to preserve its authentic look.

Citizens organized a protest under the slogan “Big hugs for GTC.”

Skopje: Extravagant Projects for Cheap Political Gain

Skopje, 26 December, 2015 - 9:05 (META) 

Three projects in three municipalities in Skopje are united in one thing – they all have a primarily decorative function.

Park of lakes in Aerodrom, the Bohemian street in the Centre, and the Delfina Square, although in different municipalities, they have a common denominator – high costs and the constant boasting with why and how much of our money was spent by their mentors.

Municipalities in Skopje in recent years have invested a lot of money into making public spaces more beautiful and have spent hundreds of thousands or even millions of euros and it is about who will make their neigbourhood nicer, or a more expensive square, park or walkway.

But if there is money, does it have to be spent?