Although everyone expected to see the former chief of the secret police, Saso Mijalkov, in handcuffs, as all defendants from the Sutka prison were taken to court, the prison van took him directly into the court’s garage, and the public was allowed to enter the courtroom when the handcuffs were already removed from Mijalkov. The image in the courtroom was the same as in the previous trials when Mijalkov came to court with his own vehicle and his personal security. When reporters entered the courtroom, the former head of the UBK sat and talked with his attorneys wearing a suit and a white shirt, as he did on previous occasions. With his usual expression on his face and his usual behavior, he seemed to want to send a message that, although he is now in Shutka, he will not succumb to the public, which perceives him as a powerful man who has been managing politics and business in Macedonia for more than ten years.
The prison van with which Mijalkov was arrested was followed by three police Jeep cars with policemen from the special unit, and while the court hearing took place, several special policemen stood in front of the courtroom with automatic rifles.
The Ministry of Interior says that the special police were guarding Mijalkov in accordance with the prescribed standards and security assessments. Inside the courtroom, however, the hearing of his boss was followed by his seven personal bodyguards.
Mijalkov was arrested on November 20 last week in the Marriott hotel in the center of Skopje, and until now there has been no record of his arrest in the public. After the escape of his cousin, former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, the Special Public Prosecutor’s Office requested detention for Mijalkov as a defendant in the “Fortress-Target” case referring to the mass wiretapping and destruction of the systems for wiretapping. Mijalkov’s defense appealed the decision for his detention to the Appellate Court, but the second-instance court has not yet scheduled a public session. At the session the arguments for the reasons why he wants to get out of detention should be given personally by the former head of the UBK.
One of the reasons why the court ordered detention for Mijalkov was because he owned 11 million euros on two bank accounts that were in the name of another legal entity and individual, but there were information that they were, in fact, his. This data is from a letter from the Financial Intelligence Directorate. The Special Public Prosecutor’s Office also had operational information that Mijalkov is planning to flee, that is, he undertook actions and activities that indicate a serious flight risk.
Mijalkov’s defense, however, strongly rejects the SPO’s claims that he has any connection with the alleged 11 million Euros for which the prosecution requested detention, and the court adopted the motion.
Mijalkov’s defense team demand that the prosecution and the court publicly disclose the alleged evidence and claim that such evidence does not exist, and that the alleged transactions have nothing to do with Mijalkov.
After a long pause, yesterday in the Criminal Court, the trial over the “Treasury” case continued with the main hearing, which concerns the abuse of state money for the procurement of software for wiretapping from abroad for the needs of the Fifth Board.
Mijalkov is charged in total of four cases of the Special Public Prosecution, “Fortress – Target” and “Tresor” in the case “Torture”, that is, the arrest of former Interior Minister Ljube Boskoski and the “Titanic 2” case for election irregularities. The Special Public Prosecutor’s Office suspects Mijalkov in the case “Empire”, for which the richest Macedonian businessman, Orce Kamcev, was arrested and put in custody. The two business partners and friends are now in the “Hague Room” in the Sutka prison.