The Government decided that Goran Nikolovski, head of the powerful and controversial UBK intelligence service, which is at the core of the on-going political crisis, is dismissed from his office. Nikolovski is removed because the UBK is being dismantled and transformed into a new intelligence agency that will be named ANB – Agency for National Security – a process which sparked allegations of even further political abuse of the agency.
Even though it’s seen as a routine move to replace the head of an agency which is being dismantled, Nikolovski removal is controversial because he was named in the leaked testimony of businessman Jordan Orce Kamcev, who was targeted in the major racketeering scandal.
According to the testimony, Kamcev turned to Nikolovski for help when he was pressured by Special Prosecutor Katica Janeva, who demanded money to lay off of him in the large money laundering investigation she initiated against Kamcev. According to the leak, Kamcev testified that Nikolovski helped him begin unraveling the racketeering ring with a series of media leaks and criminal charges which drove Janeva and two of her accomplices into detention and sparked a new political crisis in Macedonia.
Given the widespread allegations that the money which were being extorted from Kamcev, and numerous other businessmen, were ultimately meant for top officials of the Zaev Government and his SDSM party, the revelation lead to widespread speculation about Nikolovski’s future fate.