Today, VMRO-DPMNE’s leader and former Prime Minister, Nikola Gruevski, said in the Appellate Court that he was preparing to win elections, not to leave the country.

In the Appellate Court, where the appeals of some of the defendants and the appeals of the Special Public Prosecutor’s Office for the “Titanic” case are being reviewed at a public session, Gruevski arrived half an hour earlier, accompanied by his lawyers Boro Tasevski, Sanja Aleksic, Petar Vasilev and Dimitar Dangov.

He said in the courtroom that he had not committed a crime, nevertheless, he has been politically persecuted.

“I have not committed a crime and I have no reason to be afraid. I have been politically persecuted and a smear campaign has been led against me. The only witness against me is Zaev, and I am eager to begin the public trial to prove to the public that I am innocent. I had the opportunity to leave the country two years after the SPO announced that charges would be brought against me. I’ve traveled and I’ve always returned. I am preparing to win the elections, not to run away. Where could I run in this globalized world? So far, I have not been absent from the hearings, and on every single court summon, I will appear “, said Gruevski.

The Special Public Prosecutor’s Office are requesting that Gruevski be remanded into custody, because Prosecutor Gavril Bubevski said, summons cannot reach Gruevski. According to the SPO’s Prosecutor, the leader of the opposition party received only one summons, on April 6st, 2017.

“We failed to find someone to deliver the summons to him, neither by post, nor by DHL. All other summons were received by his security. We sent 10 summons to Gruevski and because he did not respond, he has been accused of obstructing justice”, said Bubevski.

Today, at the public session the appeals of the other defendants in the “Titanic” case, which some are high-ranking officials of the VMRO-DPMNE’s leadership, will be reviewed. After Gruevski, the court should decide on former Interior Minister Gordana Jankuloska, Minister of Transport and Communications Mile Janakieski, former Head of Gruevski’s Cabinet, Martin Protuger, and Kiril Bozinovski.

The SPO requested that they be remanded into custody, but the Criminal Court only confiscated their passports and they had been ordered to report to the court once a week.