Everybody sues – a slew of criminal charges in Macedonia


The situation in Macedonia, which some refer to as political crisis, sparked a slew of criminal charges, especially against and for politicians, public figures and journalists.

In a small country like ours, it seems that now everyone is suing and files criminal charges against everyone else.

In less than three months – from 31st of January till today – criminal charges filed or were filed against them: Zoran Zaev, Sasho Mijalkov, Goran Gruevski, Nikola Gruevski, Gordana Jankuloska, Mile Janakieski, Martin Protogjer, Toni Trajkovski, Stevo Pendarovski, Tito Petkovski, Radmila Shekerinska, Andrej Zhernovski, Oliver Spasovski, Ivo Nikolov-Sachevaliev, Vladimir Taleski, Vasko Kovachevski, Zoran Stavreski, Nikola Todorov, Maja Parnadzhieva-Zmejkovska, Xhemali Mehazi.

There are 22 cases of sued journalists.

Charges for or against Ivo Kotevski, Goran Trajkovski, Samka Ibraimovski, Artan Grubi, Stojanche Angelov and Goran Petreski are also announced.

Lawyer Filip Medarski said that, in the recent history of Europe, there was no such example as our current situation.

– This influx of criminal charges is actually proof that we have an anomaly in the system. That shows, for which we have solid evidence, that institutions do not work. I think the prosecution is difficult to deal with the whole situation. There were such scandals for which numerous criminal charges were filed in other countries as well. But, it turns out that other countries have the capacity to resolve such situations, such as Italy and its struggle with the mafia – stated Medarski for us.

The increased number of criminal charges means that major crime happened in the country, said Gordan Kajaldzhiev, professor of criminal procedural law at the Faculty of Law “Justinian I”.

– The prosecution has no capacity nor wants to deal with all these charges. Normal democratic countries have no such scandals because they have a system of separation of powers (check and balances), and Macedonia doesn’t – said Kalajdzhiev.

The Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM) say that journalists most often sue other journalists.

– In the period from October to December 2014, of two authorized persons of the Association of Journalists of Macedonia, 22 court cases where journalists are sued for defamation and insult were registered, for which were held a total of 32 hearings. Positive is that three of these court cases are rejected by the court as baseless, bringing the number of journalists being sued for these cases, as of December, to 19. Usually plaintiffs are journalists. Out of 19 cases, as of December, 11 are of journalists against journalists. While defamation and insult were part of the Criminal Code, there were more than 300 cases of journalists being sued. AJM currently follows all court cases where journalists are sued for defamation and insult and will soon prepare a report on this process – says Dragan Sekulovski, Executive Director of AJM.

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