Institutional shortcomings cited by PPO in the case of fugitive Gruevski

Skopje, 6 February, 2019 - 18:15 (META) 

The Basic Public Prosecutor’s Office for Prosecuting Organized Crime and Corruption has released to the public the actions so far undertaken in the case of fugitive, Nikola Gruevski.

The PPO adds that the total recorded video material of about 10 terabytes has been submitted for analysis to the Ministry of Interior and is still ongoing.

“Interpol, through the Ministry of Interior, has passed on information indicating that there is no material of the now-convicted Nikola Gruevski’s exit at any border crossing from Macedonia in the critical period. At the same time, from the inspection carried out in the Integrated Border Control System, it was determined that there is no recorded exit from the territory of Macedonia by the convicted person,” the statement added.

The PPO also reports that 16 orders for lists of 60 telephone numbers from persons who were connected or suspected of communicating with the convict in the critical period were issued. The listings were provided and some of them have been initially identified and are subject to further processing and analysis.

The PPO added that in the course of the case so far, they discovered that in September 2018, now convicted Nikola Gruevski withdrew approximately 120 thousand euros from his own accounts on the same date, from three different banks.

“Up until now, the relevant prosecutor has not established the existence of criminal liability by officials who assisted or participated in the organization and realization of the escape of the now-convicted Nikola Gruevski. So far, the evidence gathered suggests that there were various shortcomings in the actions of the relevant institutions that do not constitute a crime and are not under the jurisdiction of the Public Prosecutor’s Office,” the PPO informs.

Gruevski congratulated the signing of the Accession Protocol with NATO

Budapest, 6 February, 2019 - 14:35 (META) 

The fugitive Nikola Gruevski congratulated the singing of the Accession Protocol with NATO in Brussels on his Facebook profile.

In his, as he states “thinking of a new national strategy after the new situation with the name” he is making an analysis – in several installments – about the meaning of the country’s membership in NATO, a parallel with the activities of the old VMRO and their fight for freedom.

“It is not a secret that all throughout my work in politics, from the very start and until today, I have been an open supporter of Macedonia’s membership in NATO and EU. The difference with SDSM is that I didn’t want this to happen in this manner, with a humiliating and damaging agreement, with a complete surrender of the hard-won and bloody earned, and in the aftermath, it will take years to fight and repair the damage with all the risks in that intent. But, outside of that, I was thinking and I still think the same, that the Republic of Macedonia’s place is unequivocally in NATO and EU. That the party tried to create a different picture with the use of paid propaganda for other goals is another matter. When they did this to us by use of force and against the constitution regarding the name, the identity and the history, when that is happening with the use of force and against the will of the people is becoming a reality, we should use this situation and a day sooner this country should become a member of NATO and start and sooner to finish the negotiations for a fully fledged membership in the EU.

It will take 18 months for the process with NATO to finish, and for EU it will probably take 6 to 8 years from now, depending on many factors. If there are no early parliamentary elections, until 2020, the NATO membership will be accomplished, by then, and I’m hoping that at least 20-30% of the necessary reforms and negotiations for an EU membership. When the puppet government is replaced, the process of the EU accession should be accomplished without creating additional risks” said Gruevski on his Facebook profile in his first part of his analysis.

He even warns that ” in the next 6-8 years we should be very careful not to remain both without the name and the EU”
“Since we brought into this difficult situation by the puppet government and since we lost our name and nationality, we need to get into EU first and then after we prepare the groundwork and necessary allies, we should correct the caused damage which will not be an easy operation,” writes Gruevski.

With footage of Gruevski’s deleted, Albanian news site claims it was “sent” to Macedonia

Skopje, 1 February, 2019 - 19:29 (META) 

Writing about the request of the Macedonian prosecution about the security footage of the ex-Prime Minister Gruevski’s escape through the Albanian border, Albanian news site “BalkanWeb” in an article titled “Albania sends footage of Gruevski’s escape“, claims that the footage has already been downloaded from the system and, in accordance with the request from the Macedonian authorities, shall be sent to Skopje.

The text continues to say that the footage shows the moment when Gruevski in a car crosses the border.

Namely, on December 12, 2018 Macedonian authorities reported that the security cameras from Albania would be requested after former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski had fled Macedonia a month earlier to avoid serving a two-year prison term for the “Tank” case. Then, with the assistance of Hungarian diplomats, he escaped through Albania, Montenegro, and Serbia and was granted political asylum in Hungary

However, as already known to the Macedonian public, the prosecution informed that even though two officials went to Albania, the request for international legal assistance was not granted and the recordings were not provided.

Namely, the state public prosecutor Ljubomir Joveski said that the explanation from Albania was that the system with the security cameras at the Albanian border crossings automatically deleted them to open space for newer ones.

“There are several sides to their explanation. One side is that there is too much data in the security cameras and they couldn’t store the footage in the system for longer,” said Joveski.

However, despite the information published in the Albanian media in Macedonia – that the recordings were not received – the news site has not published any new information regarding this case, and the article does not give a detailed explanation on how the procedure is going, nor does it refer to a source from any institution where this “information” was potentially downloaded from.

„Srbija danas“ je pobrkala lončiće u pokušaju da napadne makedonsku vlast

Skopje, 1 February, 2019 - 10:39 (META) 

Srpska informativna veb-strana „Srbija danas“ preksinoć u vestima o ukidanju poslaničke plate i drugih poslaničkih beneficija nekadašnjeg makedonskog premijera Nikole Gruevskog je stavila naslov koji je klevetnički i ne predstavlja činjenice.

Imeno, pišući „ZAEV OTIMA PARE: Ovim potezom je Makedonija zavukla ruku u džep bivšeg premijera Gruevskog”, informativna stranica je optužila i premijera Zorana Zaeva i uopšte Makedoniju da su ukrali novac koji pripada Gruevskom.

Ali dalje u tekstu „Srbije danas“ nema nikakvog objašnjenja za ovakve klevetničke tvrdnje, već se suvoparno prenosi vest MIA-e da je makedonska Skupština izglasala zakon kojim se ukidaju plate i sve druge povlastice poslanicima koji su osuđeni na zatvorsku kaznu dužu od šest meseci. Informativni sajt prenosi i na kakvu zatvorsku kaznu je osuđen Gruevski – i toliko!

Uprkos neosnovanim optužbama, činjenice su jasne – makedonski premijer Zoran Zaev uopšte nije umešan u situaciju, već je Skupština izglasala zakon kojim se štedi novac građana, oduzimajući plate poslanicima koji su osuđeni na zatvorsku kaznu od najmanje šest meseci, koja se ne dosuđuje za sitne prekršaje, već za ozbiljnije oblike kriminala. Zato je i opravdan potez Skupštine – time se oduzima mogućnost onima koji su se ogrešili o zakon i dalje da imaju vajde od para koje pripadaju građanima.

Znači, jedina tačna stvar u naslovu je da je Makedonija, preko narodnih predstavnika – poslanika, ukinula platu osuđeniku koji je pobegao iz zemlje da ne ide u zatvor.


With the closure of the Special Prosecutor’s Office, Macedonia’s hope for State of law will be lost

Skopje, 1 February, 2019 - 7:58 (META) 

The Supreme Court of Macedonia, as the highest legal instance in the country, with the latest controversial legal opinion seems to have eradicated all hope that the regime of the fugitive Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski will face justice. After this decision, to all those thousands of citizens who chanted “No Justice – No Peace” while marching in the “Colorful Revolution” in support of a Special Public Prosecutor’s Office (SPO), it became clear that “peace” and “justice” here live on different streets.

Following an initiative by two former lawyers of the fugitive Gruevski, Elenko, Milanov and Boro Tasevski, the Supreme Court of Macedonia passed a legal opinion stating that the Special Public Prosecutor’s Office headed by Katica Janeva has no jurisdiction or authority after the first 18 months from the start of their work.

This 18 month deadline expired in mid-2017. This legal opinion, although non-binding, disputes the legality of all investigations undertaken by the SPO since then. This includes cases that, in addition to Nikola Gruevski, include: Gruevski’s cousin and former head of secret police Sasho Mijalkov, as well as Ali Ahmeti, leader of DUI, the then and now ruling party, the deputy prime minister responsible for European Integration and vice president of DUI, Bujar Osmani, businessman Orce Kamchev and nearly the entire former leadership of the current opposition party VMRO-DPMNE. With this legal opinion, the indictment of the “Thaler” case for the illegal financing of the conservative VMRO-DPMNE party, as well as the construction of their impressive headquarters in the centre of Skopje, has been shaken to the core.

Public reactions and statements made by key players’ suggest that the SPO will have to hand over these cases to the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Republic Public Prosecutor, Ljubomir Joveski. Therefore, the Special Public Prosecutor’s Office – the symbol of the struggle for the rule of law and the state of law, as well as the fight against a repressive authoritarian regime, the institution that could boast trust among the general public, more than any politician or political party in the history of an independent Macedonia – will cease to exist.

Key questions that are asked: Whom does SPO’s existence benefit? Which executive party wants a specially formed Special Prosecutor’s Office with great powers? Who proposed, and who accepted the deadline for submitting charges to the SPO to be just 18 months?

The answers to these questions can be partially found in an interview with Peter Vanhoutte, the mediator who assisted in the resolution of the political crisis in Macedonia in 2016, given to Macedonian “Vistinomer”.

In the interview, he said that the initial proposal by experts who worked on the Law on the formation of the SPO was that the deadline for filing the charges be 5 years with the possibility of an extension. After lengthy negotiations, the team of the current Prime Minister Zoran Zaev of the Social Democratic Alliance, according to Vanhoutte, suggested that the deadline be two years, while Gruevski and VMRO-DPMNE proposed that it be just 18 months.

“After a bit of discussion between Gruevski and Zaev, despite my sharp objections that the deadline is too short, they reached an agreement. In fact, there were no negotiations between them on this issue. Gruevski said 18 months and Zaev accepted,” explained Vanhoutte.

At the end of the interview, the Dutch expert pointed out that “as long as the leaders of the political parties do not accept a system of responsibility, which is crucial for a democratic country,” Macedonia has no place in the EU.

Gašenjem Specijalnog tužilaštva u Makedoniji će se ugasiti i nada u pravnu državu

Skopje, 1 February, 2019 - 7:43 (META) 

Vrhovni sud Makedonije kao vrhovna sudska instanca u zemlji, poslednjim kontroveznim pravnim mišljenjem izgleda gasi iskre nade da će se predvodnici režima prebeglog eks-premijera Nikole Gruevskog suočiti sa pravdom. Posle ove odluke hiljadama građana koji su uzvikivali „Nema pravde – nema mira” (Nema pravda – nema mir!) marširajući u „Šarenoj revoluciji” za podršku Specijalnom javnom tužilaštvu, postalo je jasno da mir i pravda ovde žive na različitim adresama.

Nakon podnete inicijative od strane Elenka Milanova i Bora Tasevskog, dvojice bivših advokata prebeglog Nikole Gruevskog, Vrhovni sud Makedonije je doneo pravno mišljenje u kome se kaže da Specijalno javno tužilaštvo na čelu sa Katicom Janevom nema nikakvih ovlašćenja posle isteka perioda od 18 meseci od početka njegovog rada.

Ovaj rok od 18 meseci istekao je sredinom 2017. godine. Ovim pravnim mišljenjem, iako nije obavezujuće, osporava se zakonitost svih preduzetih istraga i podnetih optužbi od strane Specijalnog javnog tužilaštva od tada pa do sada. Tu su uključeni predmeti koji pored Nikole Gruevskog uključuju i njegovog bliskog rođaka, bivšeg šefa tajne policije Saše Mijalkova, lidera vladajuće DUI Alija Ahmetija, vicepremijera odgovornog za evro-integracije i podpredsednika DUI, Bujara Osmanija, biznismena Orceta Kamčeva i bezmalo kompletno bivše rukovdstvo sada opozicione VMRO-DPMNE. Ovim pravnim mišljenjem klati se i optužba po predmetu „Talir” za nelegalno finansiranje konzervativne VMRO-DPMNE, kao i izgradnji njihovog impozantnog sedišta u centru Skoplja.

Reakcije javnosti i izjave ključnih igrača upućuju na to da će Specijalno javno tužilaštvo ove predmete predati Osnovnom javnom tužilaštvu i republičkom javnom tužiocu Ljubomiru Joveskom. Time će Specijalno javno tužilaštvo – simbol borbe za vladavinu prava i pravne države, kao i borbe protiv represivnog autoritarnog režima, institucija koja je mogla da se pohvali poverenjem građana višim od poverenja bilo kom političaru ili političkoj partiji u istoriji nezavisne Makedonije – prestati da postoji.

Ključna pitanja koja se postavljaju su: Kome odgovara da uopšte postoji Specijalno javno tužilaštvo? Koja izvršna vlast priželjkuje posebno formirano Specijalno javno tužilaštvo sa velikim ovlašćenjima? Ko je predložio, a ko prihvatio rok od samo 18 meseci za podnošenje optužbi Specijalnog javnog tužilaštva?

Odgovori na ova pitanja delimično se mogu naći u intervjuu Pitera Vanhojtea, posrednika za izlazak iz političke krize u Makedoniji 2016. godine,  datom za makedonski „Vistinomer“.

On u intervjuu ukazuje da je prvični predlog eksperata koji su radili na Zakonu o osnivanju Specijalnog javnog tužilaštva bio da rok za podnošenje optužbi traje 5 godina, uz mogućnost produžetka. Posle dugih pregovora, tim sadašnjeg premijera Zorana Zaeva iz Socijal-demokratskog saveza, prema Vanhojteu, je predložio da rok bude dve godine, dok su Gruevski i VMRO-DPMNE predložili da bude samo 18 meseci.

„Posle kraće diskusije između njega i Zaeva, i pored mojih oštrih primedbi da je taj rok prekratak, oni su postigli saglasnost. Zapravo oko ovog pitanja nije bilo pregovora između njih dvojice. Gruevski je predložio 18 meseci, Zaev je prihvatio”, objasnio je Vinhojte.

Na kraju intervjua, holandski ekspert ukazuje da „sve dok lideri političkih partija ne prihvate sistem odgovornosti, koji je ključan za jednu demokratsku zemlju”, za Makedoniju nema mesta u EU.



Parliament repeals Gruevski’s MP salary

Skopje, 30 January, 2019 - 15:28 (META) 

With 53 votes in favor and 3 neutral, the amendment to the Law on the MPs was passed, with which the MPs that are sentenced to imprisonment for 6 months will lose their salary as an MP, then the travel costs all the other benefits.

The President of the Parliament, Talat Xhaferri voted neutral.

-I’m not convinced by the solution in the Law and that is why I voted neutral, but I’m obliged to obey the Parliament’s procedures – said Xhaferri.

The MPs who lodged the proposal were Snezana Kalevska Vancheva, Goran Misovski, Muhamed Zekjiri, Sonja Mirakovska, Redzep Memedi and Redzail Ismaili.

The former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, according to the new legal changes has lost his MP salary since he was convicted to two years imprisonment for the purchase of the luxurious Mercedes that was a subject in the SPO’s case “Tank.” For the past several months Gruevski is residing in Hungary, where he was granted asylum.

The video recordings of Gruevski automatically erased by the systems in Albania – they couldn’t store them for an extended period

Skopje, 29 January, 2019 - 14:44 (META) 

The recordings from the security cameras that recorded the getaway of convict Nikola Gruevski to Albania were not provided and this country didn’t act upon the request for international legal help from the security services, said the state Public Prosecutor Ljubomir Joveski during the debate about the Law on the Special Prosecutor’s Office at MANU.

-There are several explanations provided by the Albanian side, but basically, they had a large quantity of recorded material from the cameras and that their system couldn’t have kept them longer – said Joveski.

According to him, these recordings were not erased manually, but the system was programmed to do so automatically. Regarding the movements of Gruevski within this country, Joveski didn’t explain whether the Prosecution has any concrete recordings of him, but stressed that all acquired recordings are analyzed by the Prosecution.

He also said that acquiring international assistance is a delicate process that is accomplished under special conditions and that our Prosecution has done everything in accordance with its regulations and procedures, but the ending result is this.

The government was asked many times about former Prime Minister’s getaway and the asylum he was granted by Hungary, but the answers always were that it is waiting for the Prosecution to come out with the results from the investigation and then it will give its opinion.

Szijjártó: The Hungarian government cannot influence the Immigration service because it granted asylum to Gruevski

Budapest, 18 January, 2019 - 16:28 (META) 

The Immigration and statehood service is an independent state organ and the Hungarian government cannot influence its decisions. The former Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski has passed the asylum procedure and the Immigration service has decided to issue a positive decision, said Peter Szijjártó, the Minister of Foreign Affairs in the interview he gave for the Bulgarian national broadcasting service BNT.

-The service is an independent state organ and the Hungarian government doesn’t exert any influence over its decisions. The issue of asylum granted to Gruevski is a legal matter and not political – said Szijjártó in the interview.

-Our stance is that Macedonia should already have been invited to join the NATO. We are in favor of the complete accession of Macedonia, we strongly support the sending of the NATO invitation as soon as the procedure with the name ends on both ends, and the Macedonian has reported that it has ended. Now it’s up to Greece. They have our support and they shall have it – political and economic. I was very clear with the minister of foreign affairs that this legal matter will not influence in any way – said Szijjártó.

Regarding EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn’s commentary that he doesn’t agree with the protection Hungary is providing for Gruevski, Szijjártó replied that he should mind his own business.

-Commissioner Hahn should mind his own business. His mandate of 5 years as Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations was a complete failure. Therefore, there is no improvement regarding the neighborhood policy and therefore he should concentrate on his work – said the Foreign Minister.

British photographer took a photograph of Gruevski while taking a stroll in Budapest

Budapest, 12 December, 2018 - 11:59 (META) 

Daniel Nolan, the British Guardian’s correspondent from Budapest, yesterday, on his Twitter profile has published a photograph of the rogue former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski in Budapest.

Retrock butik vo Budimpeshta za fotografijata so Gruevski

Gruevski was photographed by Nolan in the center of Budapest, as he was walking towards a desk for bus city tours for tourists “Hop On – Hop Off”. The photograph was taken in front of the boutique “Retrock” which is close to the railway station “Deak Ferenc” and the “Erzebet” park in Pesta i.e. the “Aquarium” nightclub.

The photograph was published yesterday, a month since he ran away from Macedonia. he was granted a political asylum in Hungary.