DUI President Ali Ahmeti entered the investigations of the special public prosecutor’s office for the first time. He is suspected that along with former VMRO-DPMNE leader Nikola Gruevski, they have agreed to postpone the 2011 census of households and households in order to remain in power, spending about 2.6m euros from the state budget for preparations for the operation they never performed. The two partners yesterday have not been called for a conversation, they are awaiting the completion of the investigation into the case called “Census”, after which the evidence will be presented and will have a chance to speak about them. Yesterday the SPO informed that they opened investigations for two other cases: one “Ruler” for abuse of land in the Municipality of Makedonski Brod, in which the MP Antonio Milososki and the other “Aktor” for misconduct are involved in the construction of the section Demir Kapija-Smokvica on the highway towards Greece. In three cases an investigation is being conducted against 25 natural and four legal entities.
According to Prosecutor Fatime Fetai, Ahmeti and Gruevski abused their official position, therefore in October 2011, in order to conceal the fact that they have no political capacity to organize a real inventory of the population, households and dwellings in the Republic of Macedonia, as a ruling coalition hide unfavorable facts about the demographic and economic situation of the population, resulting in the vast emigration of the working population, have agreed to stop the operation. They agreed to present the reasons for stopping the census through the mass media and through party statements as problems of technical nature and the lack of character of the State Census Commission and the Statistical Office. Finally, the Government submitted a request to the Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia to cease to apply the Census Law in 2011, which was also voted out.
“However, if you see the reasons why it was proposed to stop the Census Act, it will be noted that this is the reason for it to be postponed by law, so as to improve the legal solutions to the standards required by Eurostat, to train the enumerators and other participants and conduct the census operation in accordance with international standards. In this way, the spent money for the implementation of the census until the moment of the delay, used for the previous trainings, technical equipment and materials, would not be damaging to the budget, and it would be used in the postponed census operation. However, the reason for the census termination contract was not in the Government’s statement, which is evidently easily corrected if there is a will to do so, but simply the suspects realized that the legal census operation would cause huge damage to the ruling DUI and VMRO-DPMNE, and thus to themselves as leaders of these parties, leading, above all, from personal interests, interests to retain the power in the society, decided to throw the spent money down the drain, thus damaging the budget of the Republic of Macedonia in significant amount of 175,123,909 denars,” concluded Fetai.
Former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski denies any wrongdoing in the “Census” case. He said that the SPO cannot hold such press conferences and open such investigations, as Zaev can do foolish things.
“The State Commission was responsible for the conduct of the census and it made its decisions on its own, without any pressure,” Gruevski said.
The investigation against the leader of the DUI is a surprise to the public, considering that in the past three years since the existence of the SPO, there were no investigation, nor any of the wiretapped conversations between DUI officials were published. Last summer, the SPO closed the deadline for filing charges. The Special Public Prosecutor announced that their term lasts until 2020, and by then they will surely find new investigations that will be led by them.
She expects from the government to implement the announcement from Plan 3-6-9, which will find a solution for the SPO, as well as the approval of the Law on Protected Witnesses. On the other hand, part of the public doubts that it is a matter of removing Ahmeti from DUI’s position, which by its actions compromises the current government. The way the Government operated with VMRO-DPMNE is already widely known.
DUI yesterday did not announce the opening of an investigation against their leader. Some of the prominent members that we consulted either did not want to comment, or were not aware of the events. Analyst Ismet Ramadani recalls that, immediately after the census’s cessation, it was clear that someone would have to be held accountable for the money spent, and for that, most certainly, the leaders of the ruling parties are the ones that are targeted.
Whether there is criminal liability, the investigation will show. As for the political aspect, it is important in what direction will things go, because if it is shown that Ahmeti or Gruevski “protected” the interests of their community, ie they did not allow a “criminal” census to be conducted in favor of the other ethnic community, then they will get points with their supporters who are starting to rhetorically,” Ramadani is cautious.
Officials from VMRO-DPMNE say they regard yesterday’s press conference as an alibi of Zoran Zaev and SDSM due to the violent adoption of the law on bilingualism, and embarrassing bidding with national interests in the negotiations with neighboring Greece.
In a situation where the economy is in a state of collapse and the government is completely incapable of delivering promises with which the citizens have been manipulating, it is quite expected that the SPO will be reinstated, whose mandate to open investigations and prosecutions expired in June last year. That is why Katica Janeva and the SPO continue to politically construct cases without any legal basis. The public must be defocused by the whole chaos that is happening in the state. That is why cases are opened for contracts signed by the EU ambassador to Skopje or laws passed in the Parliament,” VMRO-DPMNE said.
Foreign nationals involved in the ‘Aktor’ case
The Special Public Prosecutor’s Office opened an investigation into the case of “Aktor” because of favoring the Greek company for the tender for construction of the Demir Kapija-Smokvica highway, although the Italian company “Toto” had a better offer. Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, who in 2012, according to the SPO, called the Minister of Transport and Communications Mile Janakieski to find a way to eliminate the Italians from playing, because they were represented by “communists”.
The Minister instructed the members of the evaluation committee to choose “Aktor”, even if they did not meet the technical requirements of the announcement, which ultimately happened, and the state was damaged by 7,811,583 euros.
In addition, there is a suspicion of money laundering that was carried out through four companies that paid huge salaries to their employees (for example, a regular employee received six to seven thousand euros in MKD counter value), and immediately in Negotino they were converted into euros and they were given to the Greeks. In that way, 31,856,811 euros were “pumped out”. The subject of the investigation will be ten natural persons and four legal entities. The SPO confirmed that in the pre-trial procedure, international assistance from several countries was also sought, and several foreign nationals are suspected.