The case of little Tamara, who had a severe form of scoliosis and, unfortunately, so distorted and bent over by pain, did not get the institutional “go” for a new life opportunity, these days fired a new bullet into the womb of the unjust society in which we are lingering in daily.
Ljupco Stojanovski, whose granddaughter left this world without receiving a constitutionally guaranteed right to medical treatment, will be behind bars for seven and a half years, because pressured by the long and unbearable agony, two years ago he shot at then Health Minister Nikola Todorov, when this one was supposed to hand over the function.
The Appellate judges now agreed with the criminal judges’ decision, although this court quashed the verdict the first time round and remanded it to a retrial because “it is insufficiently clear and understandable and the reasoning does not contain sufficient reasons for decisive facts as to the existence of crime and criminal responsibility.”
The reconstruction of the incident at the end of last year before the Ministry of Health was the addition to the retrial in the process. Todorov and Stojanovski saw each other face to face. The former testified that the defendant pointed the pistol at his head and fired directly without warning, and Stojanovski claimed he had no intention of firing but wanted to use the event of handing over of the post, where he knew there will be media present, and send a message to state authorities that they should provide living conditions to all sick children – so that there will be no other Tamaras.
Attempted murder is in fact what that happened, fortunately without fatal consequences. Violence must be condemned and punished accordingly, in any case. But what once again generates justified outrage and anger with the public is the sense of disproportionality in punishment, as well as the selective justice.
This is not an attempt to relativize the case or a sermon to bring the whole social system to the level of an “eye for an eye” principle and return to the ancient Mesopotamia of Hammurabi. But one cannot overlook the emphasized legal inequality of the various social strata. The impression is that for some the court is strict and relentless and executes draconian penalties, and for the powerful and their posse it seems as if it does not exist.
Attempted murder according to case law, lawyers say, has so far ended with probation or a minimum sentence of two or three years in prison, with sentences ranging from 5 to 10 years for brutal and cruel killings. Not to mention the acquittals or the minimum sentences imposed on bodyguards of ex-officials for fatal traffic accidents or the mild redefining of minor offenses. Or about the impunity of serious crime with political backing. What revolts is the ignoring of the whole context and the mitigating circumstances in cases that some citizens may not be aware of, but the court must take into account.
The judiciary, which can not now, not that it ever could, boast any impressive credibility and integrity, was the biggest violator of human rights during the previous government. Trust in it was null, and as a result, some decided to take justice into their own hands, and even, like Tamara’s grandfather, tried to take another person’s life. The institutional and social chaos undoubtedly produces deviant behaviors of the most radical kind. That is why it was absolutely right for those who two years ago estimated that Todorov was in fact shot by the system that created the political nomenclature he belonged to.
One such scenario, in which Todorov is a “victim” and the grandfather Is the lunatic who needs to serve time, can in no way be the final justice that the court system in this case should deliver. In May last year, three and a half years later, charges were filed against 12 people for negligent service in a Tamara treatment case. The case is being charged by five members of the first instance and members of the second instance commission, who have brought, that is, confirmed the negative treatment decision abroad, as well as the two directors of the Health Insurance Fund at that time and the president of the HIFM Board of Directors. The process has so far stalled, and the public is still looking for answers to several important and already-asked questions – whether the order not to send Tamara abroad came from “above”, whether the girl was actually kept for an operation the government was supposed to do promotion of the new spinal center that never opened, and where is Todorov’s fault in the case…
It would not be a surprise if none of this is revealed and no one ultimately bears responsibility except for Tamara’s grandfather and everything is kept in line with the statement made by Health Fund ex-director Maja Parnadzieva-Zmejkova. Four years ago, announcing her decision to resign (as she said for personal, human reasons), she said, among other things, that the autopsy confirmed the cause of death, namely that “it was not related to the operation Tamara was supposed to have and for which funds were provided.” What she did not say was whether the reason – the bronchopneumonia – could have been a consequence of the scoliosis Tamara suffered from.