Criminal Court receives 12 requests for amnesty

Skopje, 24 December, 2018 - 13:48 (META) 

Up to this morning, 12 requests for amnesty were submitted to the Criminal Court Skopje by the defendants involved in the violent events that took place in the Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia from 27 April 2017.

Each of the defendants from “April 27” has the right to apply for amnesty if he or she considers meets the requirements prescribed by the Law.

The five-day deadline for submitting applications for amnesty expires tomorrow. The defendants can submit requests to the Court personally or by post. After the expiration of the deadline for filing the applications, the Court and the Prosecution have their own five-day deadline to decide who will be pardoned and who will not.

The law on amnesty was announced last Thursday via the Official Gazette of the Republic of Macedonia, after it was signed by the President of the Republic, Gjorgje Ivanov.

On March 18th, following a fast-track procedure with 95 votes in favor, Macedonian Parliament passed the Amnesty Law for those involved in the events in Parliament on 27 April last year, The Law was passed with no votes against or abstentions.

In accordance with the Law, the amnesty does not cover the organizers, the individuals who carried out physical violence, those who carried weapons and officials who did not follow orders.

Parliamentary Commission recommend Gruevski is stripped of his parliamentary immunity

Skopje, 27 November, 2018 - 14:15 (META) 

The Commission for Rules of Procedure and Mandate-Immunity Issues, with five votes in favor, adopted the six requests from the Criminal Court to strip MP Nikola Gruevski of his immunity for the purpose of detention. Not a single MP from the opposition VMRO-DPMNE, whose honorary president is Gruevski, was present at the session.

The court seeks the detainment of Gruevski for election fraud in the “Titanic” case, for irregularities during the construction of highways in the “Trajectory” case, the demolition of the Cosmos building in the “TNT” case, for the unlawful financing of the party in the “Thaler” case, as well as the “Slaps” case in the Municipality of the Centre.

Decisions for the requests to approve the detention measure will be sent to Parliament Speaker Talat Xhaferi, who will then call for a plenary session.

Commission President Pavle Bogoevski expressed his disappointment saying that our system did not ensure Gruevski serve the two-year sentence for the “Tank” case. He asked for accountability and the investigation into Gruevski’s escape be completed.

In order to strip Gruevski of his parliamentary immunity, at least 61 votes are needed.

Indictment approved for Mijalkov and Grujevski in the “Treasury” case

Skopje, 6 December, 2017 - 11:06 (META) 

The Council from the Criminal Court has approved the indictment for the “Treasury” case which is being led by the Special Prosecutor’s Office.

The former head of UBK, Sasho Mijalkov, former head of the fifth administration, Goran Grujevski, former head of Mijalkov’s cabinet, Toni Jakimovski and the former assistant Interior Minister, Nebojsa Sajkovic are all charged in the case.

According to the SPO, the suspects, through the “Finzi” company, which was at some point run by the now deceased Kosta Krpac, procured equipment for UBK and damaged the budget of a total 862,045 euros.

Court rules on custody for Mukoski, Arnaudov and Vasilevski

Skopje, 5 December, 2017 - 18:10 (META) 

After today’s testomonies, the Criminal Court ruled that MPs Krsto Mukoski, Ljuben Arnaudov and Saso Vasilevsk be taken into custody and detained. Those MPs are suspected of the violence in Parliament on April 27th. Their colleagues, Žaklina Peshevska, Johan Tarculovski and Ljupco Dimovski, received a measure of house arrest.

Mukoski, Arnaudov and Vasilevski were accompanied by police escorts from the rear entrance of the Criminal Court and placed in a police van, where they have to conduct in a investigative facility to serve the measure.

Today, six MPs attended the hearing at the Criminal Court after Friday’s plenary session, last Friday, when Parliament decided to withdraw their immunity.

The Prosecutor’s Office for Organized Crime and Corruption is charging everyone with a terrorist threat to the constitutional order and security of the country.

The Supreme Court abolished the verdicts and returned the “Monster” case for a retrial

Skopje, 24 November, 2017 - 17:22 (META) 

The Supreme Court has abolished the verdicts for the “Monster” case and returned the case for a retrial. The court ruled that it accepts the appeals of the defendants for the multiple murders at Smiljkovsko Lake, which occurred on April 12th, 2012.

With the verdict from the highest court in the country, rulings from the Criminal and Appellate Court of Skopje have been terminated, where six people were sentenced to life imprisonment and now the case has been returned for a retrial.

The decision of the Supreme Court comes after public prosecutor, Liljana Spasoska requested the abolition of the verdicts of the Criminal and Appellate Court and the return of the case for a retrial because of “uncertain factual situation”, but also, because of the possible existence of wiretapped conversations held by the Special Prosecutor’s Office, which could change the course of the procedure.

“Divo Naselje” protest passed calmly, “UÇK” chants could be heard

Skopje, 5 November, 2017 - 18:15 (META) 

Among the chants of mostly “UÇK”, under a strong police presence, the protest against the verdicts of the “Divo Naselje” case finished. No incidents were reorted.

The crowd that started their protest from Skenderbeg Square and headed towards Basic Court Skopje 1, where the verdicts for the defendants were announced, chants could be heard, the loudest, “UÇK”. Although they originally announced that they would march to the Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia, however it did not happen, from the square, the procession went to the court.

The protest was supported by the families of the defendants who spoke to a small group of supporters at Skenderbeg Square. The crowd was under strong police presence.

Janeva can not confirm whether the materials confiscated from Pancevski lead to Ivanov

Skopje, 6 October, 2017 - 14:28 (META) 

The Special Prosecutor’s Office started with an analysis of the materials seized during yesterday’s searches of the offices and the homes of Judge Vladimir Pancevski and two IT employees employed by the court, stated today Special Prosecutor, Katica Janeva.

The Special Prosecutor said that the seized material were handed over to the Ministry of Interior’s expert unit, but did not disclose details of yesterday’s search at the Basic Court Skopje 1, because, as she added, the data are still being analyzed.

“Our teams and the police met regarding the searches last night.Today and yesterday everything which was taken is being compiled and everything will be submitted to the Prosecution. I think what we asked for and found in the homes we took. Whether it is all we need, I can not say”, said Janeva, who today attended the debate “Couple in favor of the defendant – guilty beyond reasonable doubt”, organized by the Association for Criminal Law and Criminology of Macedonia and the OSCE Mission to Skopje.

Responding to a journalist question whether the data obtained from the former president of the Criminal Court in Skopje, Vladimir Pancevski, suggested that there was information from the court about the president of the state, Gjorge Ivanov, before his decision concerning the mass pardons in April, has been reported from the court. Janeva stated that she can not comment because the data is still being analyzed.

“I can not confirm anything because at this time, the data that was taken away is still being analyzed. Once the analysis is completed, you will be notified. I saw the articles on social networks, I can not confirm it at all, it’s just speculation and assumptions”, said Janeva.
The SPO, as Janeva announced yesterday, conducted a personal search with a court order on Vladimir Pancevski’s and with another court order all his data from the computer system for the deployment of cases in the Basic Court Skopje were confiscated.

The Special Prosecutor’s Office is conducting a pre-trial procedure and they suspect that Pancevski appointed judges to receive certain cases from the SPO. They also suspect that he has given official secrets to persons outside the court.

SPO suspects Pancevski of allocating court cases and releasing official secrets

Skopje, 5 October, 2017 - 20:02 (META) 

Special Prosecutor Katica Janeva with investigators from the Ministry of Internal Affairs today searched the office of judge Vladimir Pancevski, against whom, according to Janeva, the SPO is conducting a pre-trial procedure due to abuses of the system for the allocation of court cases and for disclosing official secrets.

The SPO’s search in the Criminal Court started around noon and lasted five hours, and beside Pancevski’s office, searches were carried out in his home and two computer experts employed in the court.

During the search, Pancevski’s personal computer was seized.
Janeva suspects that Pancevski appointed judges to receive cases from the SPO, and there are doubts that he has given official secrets to persons outside the court.

Otherwise, Pancevski is the former president of the Criminal Court in Skopje, and his four-year term of office expired at the beginning of December last year.

Today, in the Criminal Court there was also the Commission from the Ministry of Justice, which should determine whether there were abuses with the automated system for the distribution of cases.

The prosecution asks for the annulment of the verdicts and a new trial for the “Monster” case

Skopje, 3 October, 2017 - 20:01 (META) 

Today, the Public Prosecutor, Liljana Spasoska, at today’s public session of the “Monster” case in the Supreme Court asked for the annulment of the verdicts of the Criminal and Appellate Courts and the case be returned for a retrial.

The Supreme Court in a public session today reviewed the appeals of the six convicts who were given life sentences imposed by the Basic Court Skopje 1, which were confirmed by the Skopje’s Court of Appeals.

Spasoska’s request, who is also the acting Head of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, replacing Marko Zvrlevski when he was dismissed, is due to an “uncertain factual situation”, but also because of the possible existence of wiretapped conversations owned by the Special Prosecutor’s Office and who could change the course of the hearing, reports “Television 24 “.

The prosecutor also asked the court to consider the appeals of the sentenced defendants for the murder of five people at Smilkovsko Lake, who today, before the Supreme Court, rejected the accusations that they were the executors of the massacre and again claimed their innocence.

According to the lawyers of the sentenced defendants, there is no evidence that they are the perpetrators of the murders, and the verdicts of the Criminal and Appellate Court are biased and unfair. The defense has also noted the testimony of a protected witness, who, according to lawyers, is contradictory.

They also pointed out that, according to the judicial expertise, the time of the victims’ death could not be accurately determined, and the witnesses did not recognize the defendants.

Alil Demiri, Afrim and Agim Ismailovic, Ezim and Haki Aziri and Samil Ljuta were sentenced to life in prison for the murder of five people at Smiljkovo Lake. The massacre near Smilkovo Lake occurred on April 12, 2012, on Good Thursday, before the great Christian holiday Easter, when the boys Kire Trickovski, Filip Slavkovski, Cvetancho Ackovski, Aleksandar Nakevski and fisherman Borce Stefanovski were murdered.

Mijalkov is calling on the court’s decision for Zaev, he too wants his passport returned

Skopje, 26 September, 2017 - 12:35 (META) 

The defense team of Sasho Mijalkov, who stands accused in the “Target” case, are still waiting for an answer from the Criminal Court regarding their request to have Mr Mijalkov’s passport returned to him, after it was confiscated some time ago.

Mijalkov’s lawyer, Ljupco Shrgovski, stated that returning passports was normal practice in the judicial system, such as the case when the leader of SDSM and current Prime Minister, Zoran Zaev, had his passport returned to him in one of the cases he stands accused in.

“We have had no answer for 25 days from the court, which is suprising. We expect the court to make an identical decision as they did in the case with Zoran Zaev’s passport, because the circumstances in this and in this case are the same”, said Shvrgovski.

The prosecutor from the SPO, Lence Ristovski, confirmed that 5 defendants from their cases have asked for their passports to be returned, but the SPO gave a negative response to this proposal.

Apart from Mijalkov, the former prime minister and the current leader of VMRO-DPMNE, Nikola Gruevski, is also requsting his passport be returnted to him.