Former assistant MoI Popovski sentenced to nine years in prison

Former assistant minister of interior Gjoko Popovski was sentenced Tuesday to nine years in prison for abuse of office in Special Prosecutor’s Office (SPO) case dubbed “Trista”.

Popovski was charged with abuse of office and damages to the budget in the amount of EUR 453.570 in the process of procurement of 300 vehicles for the Ministry of Interior, when he enabled several companies to be selected in the bidding procedure, although they had not submitted the lowest.

Trial judge Dobrila Kacarska said in the elaboration of the judgment that the proposal by the public procurement commission violated the Law on Public Procurement, and Popovski should not have accepted it. She added that the “most favorable bid” criterion was not observed, thus damaging the MoI budget.

SPO prosecutor Fatime Fetai urged the court to issue a detention order for Popovski due to flight risk, a motion opposed by defense lawyer Sterjo Zikov.

The law stipulates a prison sentence ranging between four and 15 years for the crime.