The Administration of Security and Counterintelligence (UBK) has refused to declassify classified information the Special Prosecutor’s Office proposed as evidence in the “Fortress 2” trial.

The court told the SPO to request the declassification of information they had proposed to the court as evidence, but UBK have stated that any declassification of information would have consequences for the security of the state and that they are crucial in operational work of UBK.

At today’s hearing,which was a preparatory hearing, not the main hearing in the trial, Lence Ristovska, the prosecutor from the SPO, said that they agreed with the position of UBK and the Law on Criminal Procedure Code and the Law on Classified Information actually allows confidential data to be used in court proceedings as it would be closed to the public when the evidence is prevented.

To this reacted the lawyer of the defendants, Nikola Dodevski, who stressed that the SPO had failed to act according to the instructions of the court for the declassification of the information and he stated that their use in the trial would be illegal.

Dodevski said that the SPO should had previously declassified the information and should not have rushed to file an indictment.

He asked the court to reject the SPO’s evidence, more specifically, that it not be used during the trial.

Judge Lidija Petrovska after a four-hour debate, decided that the SPO try once again and appeal to the Directorate for Security of Classified Information and to request advice on whether the classified information can be used as evidence in the court proceedings.

Before, the Ministry of Interior and UBK, never gave the SPO a straight answer as to whether they can use the confidential information during the court proceedings.

The next hearing is scheduled for March 13 at 10:00 am.