The Skopje-based Appellate Court is set to announce its decisions on the appeals over precautionary measures issued by the Criminal Court for defendants in the Special Prosecutor’s Office’s (SPO) case “Titanic” for election irregularities.
SPO has asked detention to be imposed on the defendants in the case, including former prime minister Nikola Gruevski, former ministers of transport and communications and interior, Mile Janakieski and Gordana Jankuloska respectively, former PM’s office chief Martin Protogjer, and former government’s secretary-general Kiril Bozinovski.
SPO claims defendants could flee or influence witnesses and other defendants. On the other hand, the defendants pleaded their innocence, saying they did not intend to flee and asked for annulment of the precautionary measures.
Thus far, the court has rejected all appeals to the Criminal Court decisions in SPO cases.
Meanwhile, Zaev, for over two years has refused to appear at the same Court and has stated publicly he doesn’t recognize the Court’s authority because its judges were not appointed by the SDS.
During its deliberation, the Appelate Court Judges had repeated meetings with SDS officials and Mitko Burchevski, US Ambassador Jess Baily’s right hand. The pressure on the Court to detain VMRO’s leadership was obvious.
10 minutes ago, the Appelate Court announced its decision, and it’s a highly political decision. It ignored the fact that the SPO had zero evidence and relied on hearsay, but it sill decided to keep Gruevski’s, Jankulovska, Bozinovski and Protugjer’s passports. At the same time the Court denied SPO’s (Jess Baily’s) request to detain the VMRO leadership.