Thursday, February 25, 2021

The former head of the country’s secret services has disappeared


An international arrest warrant has been issued by the prosecuting authorities of Northern Macedonia against the former head of the country’s secret services (under government Nikola Gruevski), Saso Mijalkov, who has been “missing” since yesterday and the competent authorities can not locate him, in order to serve a court decision against him for house arrest.

According to all indications, Saso Mijalkov is hiding somewhere in the country, while it is not excluded that he has escaped from it, in view of the court decision for the much-maligned case of telephone interception, which six years after its revelation continues to cause serious upheaval in politics and not just the country’s scene.

The decision of the court for this case is expected to be announced on Friday 26 February, while Mijalkov is the main defendant. The prosecutor has asked for the maximum sentence set by law to be imposed on Mijalkov and two other defendants in the same case.

The Prime Minister of Northern Macedonia, Zoran Zaef expressed his “disappointment” with the fact that Sasso Mijalkov has not yet been located by the police authorities. “Obviously he managed to escape. Now we have to look at all the details and if there is any irregularity or negligence that is not justified, I will ask for responsibility,” Zaef said.

The main opposition party, VMRO-DPMNE, who, in October 2018, expelled from his ranks his once powerful executive, Sasso Mijalkov, blamed the government and the prime minister, accusing him of “good cooperation” with the fugitive accused.

The President of the Republic of Northern Macedonia, Stevo Pendarovski, also took part in the case of Mijalkov’s escape, who in a written statement called on the competent authorities of the country to take all necessary measures to implement the court decision for the detention of Mijalkov. “Such phenomena are unacceptable for a country that expects to start accession negotiations with the European Union and that works hard for reforms of its judicial system and for building trust in the rule of law,” reads the statement of the President of Northern Macedonia.

Sasso Mijalkov is the key defendant in the wiretapping case and is involved in a series of corruption scandals, fraud in previous elections in the country, overt interventions in the functioning of the judiciary and the media, which were revealed in early 2015 by the then opposition Social Democratic Party (SDSM) of Zoran Z.

The revelation of that scandal acted as a catalyst for the fall, two years later, of the Gruevski regime, who escaped to Hungary in November 2018 to avoid serving a two-year prison sentence in Northern Macedonia for corruption cases during his time as prime minister. 2006-2016). Gruevski, who applied for and received political asylum in Hungary, is still considered to be moving the thread on VMRO-DPMNE and acting as its “shadow” leader.

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