Macedonia’s anti-corruption prosecutor charges 94

Macedonia’s special prosecutor for corruption said on Thursday that her office has charged 94 people in connection with an illegal wiretapping scandal which brought down the previous government.


The prosecutor, Katica Janeva, raised the charges ahead of a legal deadline on Friday. Her office was established in EU-brokered talks in 2015 as a part of an attempt to defuse a dangerous political blockade.

The suspects were not named, but it is likely that longtime former prime minister Nikola Gruevski and other high-ranking members of his government were among those charged.

Gruevski, who was prime minister from 2006 until early 2016, told reporters that the charges were “politically motivated.”

Social Democratic leader Zoran Zaev, who led the opposition until he took over last month, had accused Gruevski of eavesdropping on 20,000 Macedonians in order to strengthen his grip on power.

Politicians, government officials, activists, journalists and judges were among those thought to have been victims of wiretapping.

The scandal eventually led to early elections in December, in which Gruevski‘s nationalist VMRO party again won the most seats, but was unable to find allies to muster a majority.

Macedonia has been in crisis for more than two years. Even after the elections, problems continued as the VMRO attempted to obstruct the transfer of power and force another snap poll.

Europe Online

30 June 2017

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