Civil society organizations demand resignations of Spasovski and the directors of UBK and IA over Gruevski’s escape

Skopje, 18 January, 2019 - 16:57 (META) 

Seven civil society organization have demanded resignations of the Minister of Interior Oliver Spasovski, the Director of the Administration for Security and Counterintelligence (UBK), Goran Nikolovski and the Director of the Intelligence Agency (IA) Zoran Ivanov. The NGOs stated that these officials have to bear political responsibility for Nikola Gruevski’s escape.

“We think that the second month since the escape is a reasonable deadline for providing information to the public  about the investigations that are led, including the inquest of the oversights of the institutions that were authorized to act upon. The adjournement of these results have caused more doubts among the general public and additionally has contributed to the increase of the perception that the culture of impunity still thrives in Macedonia. Therefore we think that it is necessary for someone to bear political responsibility i.e. to hand over their resignations” stated the civil organizations.

The following organizations gave their support for the call for resignations: Institute for Human Rights, Coalition “All for Fair Trials”, Youth Educational Forum, Societas Civils Skopje, The Institute for European Policy, NGO Infocenter and the Center for Economic Analysis.

Joveski: Gruevski didn’t leave Macedonia at any of its border crossings

Skopje, 2 January, 2019 - 16:47 (META) 

The former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski didn’t leave the territory of the Republic of Macedonia at any of its border crossings. Many witnesses were interrogated, but in order not to cause damage to the ongoing investigation I can’t reveal other details, said the State Public Prosecutor Ljubomir Joveski in an interview for MIA agency.

-The prosecution is taking more activities in order to gather more evidence, as was already announced. Evidence was demanded after an international legal help from authorized organs in Republic of Albania and Republic of Monte Negro. We have received recordings taken from security cameras from roads, toll wages, border crossings and around the home of the former prime minister – said Joveski.

The prosecution is analyzing the content of the gathered evidence and at the same time, it expects to receive the evidence from Albania.

-The prosecution is not determining whether there are any oversights made by certain institutions but whether there are criminal – legal activities by certain persons who may have provided help in the escape. The authorized institutions, within their inner organization, should determine whether there has been any responsibility held in their acts and authorizations – stressed the state public prosecutor.

Regarding the amnesty of the participants in the violent attacks that occurred on the 27th of April in the Parliament, Joveski said that it is a political act and he won’t comment that.

-If this depended on me and the prosecution that is designated upon this case, Vilma Ruskovska, it wouldn’t have happened. But that is my professional opinion and when it was passing this law, the parliament was taking into consideration other circumstances that are unknown to me. The prosecution will be acting professionally until the case is concluded. but I have to say that the amnesty procedure has contributed to the clearing out certain elements from the events that occurred at the Parliament. The statements that were given during the trial, much to the surprise of everyone, have pointed at the preparation for the events on the 27th of April. I understand the citizens’ disappointment and the reaction, but I repeat that it is a political decision. The prosecution is obliged to enforce the law -said Joveski.

Stoltenberg: Gruevski’s asylum is not a NATO related issue and this should be discussed among both states

Skopje, 3 December, 2018 - 12:54 (META) 

NATO’s General Secretary, Jens Stoltenberg has remarked that Nikola Gruevski’s asylum is not a NATO-related issue but something that should be solved between Skopje and Budapest.

-I’m not the one that should comment this. It’s an issue that should be discussed between Skopje and Budapest, said Stoltenberg at a press conference before the ministerial meeting of NATO’s North Atlantic Council with the countries contributors in the “Decisive Support” mission in Afghanistan, that was also attended by the Macedonian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikola Dimitrov.
Stoltenberg once again repeated his stance that the Alliance is ready to sign the accession protocol with Macedonia as soon as the Prespa Agreement is implemented and that the country should seize this opportunity.

Ivanov still hasn’t asked for a term for the annual address at the Parliament

Skopje, 30 November, 2018 - 14:26 (META) 

there is no announcement from the President of the state, Gjorge Ivanov, that he wants to have an annual address at the Parliament, said the parliamentary speaker, Talat Xhaferri during the briefing with the journalists.

-In previous years, we would have received a request from Ivanov, but this years we haven’t received anything. If he wishes to address, he will have to act quickly and to lodge a request in order for a term to be provided. This is the president’s right and not an obligation which means he may not want to use this right – said Xhaferri.

Ivanov’s mandate will be over on the 2nd of May next year, and the presidential elections will be called for probably by the end of January or at the start of February, informed Xhaferri.

Xhaferri was decisive that the former Prime MInister, Nikola Gruevski, who has fled to HUngary, will have to paid his salary because it is his constitutional right.

-I’m obliged to give him his salary as long as he has an MP mandate. It will be decreased due to unauthorized absence. If he has access to his banking account he can take his salary. In order for his mandate to be terminated two third of the total number of MPs will have to vote. The MP mandate is a constitutional category and it cannot be changed by changing of the Rule book – said Xhaferri.

The parliamentary session for determining the constitutional amendments for changing of the Constitution in accordance to the Prespa Agreement will start tomorrow and it can last 12 days the most, but Xhaferri is convinced that this dead line will be shorter.

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.

US State Department: The legal process of Gruevski should proceed in Macedonia

Washington, 22 November, 2018 - 11:29 (META) 

The US Department of State is closely following the case with Nikola Gruevski especially since he was granted asylum in Hungary, reports today the Hungarian daily newspaper “Nepszava.”

The US Department of State, on request from the Hungarian newspaper, has repeated its position stressing that Gruevski was sentenced to a two-year prison sentence after a “thorough and transparent judicial process”

The State Department also stressed that Gruevski has four pending procedures against him and that it is necessary for them to proceed within the Macedonian justice system.

The former Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski announced on Tuesday that he was granted asylum in Hungary. Macedonian authorities have requested that the decision for asylum be revoked and that the former prime minister be extradited to Macedonia.

Vučić confirms that Gruevski went to Hungary via Serbia

Belgrade, 20 November, 2018 - 12:36 (META) 

In Belgrade’s first official response, Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić said former Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski fled to Hungary via Serbia, but before a warrant was issued and sent to Belgrade. He also said that Gruevski was accompanied by two Hungarian nationals from Macedonia to Albania.

This is Belgrade’s first reaction after Gruevski fled Macedonia to avoid serving a prison sentence, even though there was much speculation that he fled through Serbia.

Vučić told Serbian television “Hepi” that Gruevski from Macedonia entered Albania, then Montenegro and through Serbia entered the Hungarian border at the Horgos border crossing.

According to the Serbian President, Nikola Gruevski left Macedonia on November 11 and identified himself with an ID card. Accompanied by two Hungarian nationals, they then entered the territory of Albania, from where they entered Montenegro at the border crossing “Hani Hoti – Božaj”.

“Then, on November 11, after 22.30 pm, through the border crossing “Gostun” entered Serbia with an ID card, and on November 12th entered Hungary at the border crossing “Horgos”, with an ID and pass he received from the Hungarian Embassy in Albania,” said Vučić .

The Serbian President said that Serbia did not make a mistake in regards to the situation and could not act differently other than to allow the former Macedonian prime minister entry and exit from the territory. It was handled in accordance with the law, he said.

“An international arrest warrant from Interpol – Skopje was issued on November 13, at 19:35 pm. What do you expect? To arrest people without an arrest warrant? Or without an international arrest warrant? Said Vučić , adding that if they had done so, it would be kidnapping.

When asked when he last heard from Gruevski, Vučić replied that it was during the unrest in the Parliament on 27 April 2017, when Gruevski from Vienna asked him to appeal for calm. However, as the Serbian president explained, they talked again later, regarding the European People’s Party.

The President of Serbia also stated that “Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev has established “normal communications”.

“Serbia has no bad relations with Macedonia, they are one of our closest nations and we will always have good relations,” Vučić told “Hepi”.

Gruevski: I’m in Budapest and I have asked for political asylum

Skopje, 13 November, 2018 - 17:11 (META) 

In the last few days I have received numerous threats. I’m in Budapest now and I have asked for political asylum from the Hungarian authorities. I will remain loyal to the Macedonian cause. I will never stand down, wrote Gruevski on his Facebook profile.

Gruevski was sentenced to a two year prison sentence in the “Tank” case for the illegal purchase of a luxurious Mercedes Benz that was led by the SPO (Special Prosecutor’s Office) where he was the prime suspect. After the Basic Court couldn’t locate him to hand over a referral document to go to jail, the MoI issued an arrest warrant for Mr Gruevski.

Zaev: I expect that Gruevski will not make us search for him

Skopje, 13 November, 2018 - 16:55 (META) 

Prime Minister Zoran Zaev has said yesterday that he doesn’t expect that the former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, for whom there is an arrest warrant – will flee.

– I have no information about the operation because I know that MoI has received a warrant from the court to issue an arrest warrant because a convicted person cannot be given a feral document to serve his sentence. He is I expect that Gruevski will not allow to have search warrants for him. For all remaining information you will have to ask Oliver Spasovski about it, said Zaev.

Criminal Council rejects appeal, Gruevski must surrender himself to Shutka Orizari prison

Skopje, 9 November, 2018 - 18:07 (META) 

The Criminal Council from the Basic Court Skopje 1 has rejected the appeal of the convicted former prime minister and honorary president of VMRO-DPMNE, Nikola Gruevski. He had appealed the ruling and two-year prison sentence, in the SPO’s “Tank” case and is now set to serve his sentence in Shuto Orizari prison.

“After receiving several questions from the media, we would like to inform the public that the Criminal Council of the Department for Organized Crime and Corruption at the Basic Court Skopje 1, acting on complaints raised by the defense and the defendant in the case KOK no. 59/17, from the prosecutor’s office designated as “Tank”, filed against the judge’s decision to execute sanctions, today held a meeting where, after examining the facts and evidence in the appeals, the Criminal Council issued a decision rejecting the appeals and confirming the ruling of the judge for execution of sanctions. The decision was sent to all parties in the case and will be executed immediately upon arrival,” announced the Basic Court Skopje 1.

This decision will be sent to Gruevski, after which he will immediately have to surrender himself to serve a prison sentence of two years.

If the decision does not reach him, then the police will arrest him and escort him to prison.