Deleted truth

Frosina Fakova-Serafinovic

Prime Minister Zoran Zaev is eager to announce the details of the escape of his predecessor Nikola Gruevski, but the investigation run by the prosecution against organized crime will burn both Prime Minister Zaev and the public, which counts how much time the institutions would need to reveal how Gruevski escaped. While journalists and citizens in Budapest are recording and photographing the convicted felon sitting in a restaurant, taking out money from an ATM machine and shopping on the popular Vaci Street, the video recording that was supposed to answer all questions on how Gruevski fled and who helped him, have disappeared, or, as it was officially stated – erased themselves.

State Public Prosecutor Ljubomir Joveski, pressed by journalists to tell them how the investigation for the most famous fugitive was going, has denied the latest information from his prosecution and confronted the public with the painful truth that the video recordings from Albania are actually gone. At the beginning of this month, the prosecution said that the competent authorities in Albania informed that they had provided the necessary evidence, so it is unclear how the information from Albania suddenly changed; for secured evidence to end up as erased footage. Nearly three months after Gruevski’s escape, the government claimed that it knew some details of the escape, but it cannot reveal them because it was still waiting for the results of the famed investigation. The only fact that was established by the authorities, without the footage from Albania, is that Gruevski escaped through an illegal border passage. Joveski also could not say that the evidence from Albania is key to the investigation, and didn’t have an answer for what was discovered from the footage made in Macedonia,  what the security cameras on the roads, pay tolls, border crossings, and around the residence of the former prime minister have shown. The deleting the video recordings will not make the investigation unsuccessful, but it will be unsuccessful if it does not determine who made the oversight, whether the Ministry of Internal Affairs who was waiting for an order from the court to escort the former prime minister to serve his sentence the Sutka prison, whether the court, because it was a weekend, could not deliver and hand the court order, or the Special Public Prosecutor’s Office that did not request for gruevski’s detention. We are also waiting for answers whether the former prime minister was helped by diplomats from Hungary in his escape, if this is known in the government’s reactions from the government, there is information that there are indications that people from other countries were involved in Gruevski’s flight. EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn has no evidence, but said he was not naive about the involvement of Albania, Montenegro and Serbia, the countries through which Gruevski traveled through to get to Budapest. The Macedonian public is not naive that the investigation leads solely to not finding any unintended responsibility in the institutional triangle.

Only after the former prime minister had escaped they all started doing their jobs, with which the SPO requested, and the court ordered Gruevski’s detention for all cases, and parliament had stripped him of his MP salary of over 1,000 euros, which it previously claimed was not possible. However, he was left with about 120,000 euros from the accounts he emptied before the escape, for which the Special Public Prosecutor’s Office claimed that it did not know that he was closing, and that no institution had notified them.

However, for the SPO this money was not an impressive figure to alert them that someone was planning an escape. Both the Basic and Appellate Courts, when the SPO demanded detention of Gruevski at the start of the ‘Titanic’ investigation, believed that this money could not be treated as a flight risk. And while the investigation is ongoing, it is more likely that Gruevski will publish on Facebook on his own how he escaped, as he already told us that he went to his friend in Budapest and that he was granted political asylum.