Mijalkov faces up to five years in prison

Yesterday, the former head of secret police Saso Mijalkov, after the end of the Titanic 2 hearing, met and greeted the leader of the Democratic Party of Albanians, Menduh Thaci. Soon they will both hear the verdict on the election irregularities they arranged together in the 2013 local elections in order to repeat the vote in Strumica, where the current Prime Minister Zoran Zaev won the mayor’s office. The trial is set to continue on January 29 by performing an expertise, done by an economic expert selected randomly in agreement between the prosecution and the defense. The expertise was delivered to court yesterday, after which it was given to an authorized legal translator in Albanian language and will be then given to the defendants to get acquainted with the findings and prepare for the next hearing. This will exhaust the list of evidence, and on February 8-15 the prosecutors of the Special Public Prosecutor’s Office, and later the defendants and their defense, will say their closing argument on this case. The verdict, which is likely to be announced no later than March, should then be scheduled.

Saso Mijalkov, Menduh Thaci and former members of the State Election Commission, Badredin Ibraimi from DPA, Saso Srcev, Aneta Stefanovska and Vlatko Sajkovski from VMRO-DPMNE were charged in the SPO’s “Titanic 2” case.

According to the indictment, Mijalkov was urging Thaci who, in turn, instructed the then-member of the State Election Commission, proposed by his party, Ibraimi, to vote for the annulment of the vote in Strumica. Bedredin Ibraimi from DPA changed his mind and together with the defendants Sasho Srcev, Aneta Stefanovska and Vlatko Sajkovski from VMRO-DPMNE won the vote against their colleagues from SDSM and DUI, and the election vote in Strumica was repeated.

The conversations between Thaci and Mijalkov were published, and the citizens heard how Mijalkov called Thaci and asked him to vote for a session of the SEC. “Hello, I have an urgent request. Can you vote for us to accept the complaint concerning Strumica,” Mijalkov told Thaci. Thaci immediately replied: Of course, right away. Then there is a conversation between Thaci and Bedredin Ibraimi, in which Thaci told him: “You have Strumica now, you will vote for it to be annulled, because we have agreed on Cair.”

All accused are charged with abuse of office and authority, and an indictment against the former director of the UBK has been filed with the criminal act for receiving reward for official misconduct. His actions foresee a sentence of up to five years in prison. Mijalkov was taken to court yesterday from house arrest, and his bodyguards were escorting him, but Draganco Stoimenov was not among them, who is at large after the incident that took place in Kocani. In this case, Mijalkov is charged with the same offense as his cousin, former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, was convicted of the purchase of the luxury Mercedes.

(FFS)