The trial against SDS leader Zoran Zaev for the “Bribe” case begun today, in which he is charged with taking 160,000-euro in bribe from a Strumica businessman for legalization of state-owned construction land, a case for which there is a video recording where it can clearly be seen and heard how Zaev seeks cash bribes.
Zaev was present, but the witness Ivan Nikolov did not come, for whom, there was no evidence that he was duly summoned.
From the footage that was posted on YouTube, you can see and hear how Zaev seeks bribes for legalization of state owned land, which as a municipality and mayor at that time was obliged to do. From the footage we hear how Zaev says that giving a bribe for legalization is a practice that everyone did. The SPO led by Katica Janeva has refused to investigate this case, and the suspicion is that Zaev has asked dozens of businessmen to pay bribes for legalizing the land.
For more than 2 years, the hearings for “Bribe” have been postponed for various reasons, while Zaev has postponed the hearings with the most blatant excuses, while the court unconditionally any excuse from Zaev, 10 times.
The previous hearing was postponed with the excuse that Zaev is on a business trip to London. The media wrote that Zaev knew last year in December that he would go on a business trip on February 26, but neither he nor his defense reported to the court that Zaev would not be able to attend the hearing.
For this delay obviously Zaev and the court knew in advance, and in a document that came out in the media, and was sent by the president of the court to the court through the system of statements, no camera was sought for recording the hearing on February 26th.
According to information published by the media, the brother of Judge Todorovski is a longtime activist of SDSM, Jordan Todorovski, who is employed as an IT specialist in SDSM.
The whole saga with the Zaev trial began on January 25th last year, but the hearing was endlessly delayed. The first two times, the trial was postponed because Zaev was not in Macedonia (allegedly). Two more hearings were subsequently postponed due to the absence of his lawyers who simply decided not to show up, then the trial was postponed due to a meeting with the Italian ambassador which ended as fake news, with the Italian ambassador officially stating he did not meet with Zaev.
In September, however, the hearing was adjourned due to the illness of the judge Diana Gruevska-Ilievska. Prior to this the Court proceeding was delayed after Zaev’s lawyers asked the Court to remove the actual tape from the proceedings, according to them, the tape was not going to benefit their client.