VMRO-DPMNE MP Ilija Dimovski delayed the first hearing in the Thaler case, a case opened by the Special Public Prosecutor’s Office for his party’s unlawful financing.
Dimovski informed the Court on 13 February that as a Member of Parliament and Head of the Parliamentary Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of NATO, he will participate in a joint meeting of the committees, which will be held from 17 to 22 February in Brussels.
The rest of the defendants came to the courtroom, former party Secretary General Kiril Bozinovski and former Transport Minister Mile Janakieski, as well as the defendant Leko Ristoski, were brought from house arrest. Former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski is also charged in this case, who was granted asylum in Budapest, and he will be defended by lawyer Biljana Krstevska, who was granted ex officio. Elizabeta Cingarovska, who pleaded guilty and received a suspended prison sentence of two years, did not show to court. The party VMRO-DPMNE, which is covered by the indictment as a legal entity, was represented in the court by party Secretary General Igor Janusev. After the hearing was adjourned, Janusev once again accused current Prime Minister Zoran Zaev of political persecution against the party. “This only proves what we have been saying for some time that Zaev, faced with the immediate defeat he is expecting in the presidential elections, but it is even more certain that after that we will have early parliamentary elections, he tries through all sources of the government to influence VMRO-DPMNE. The fact that this whole political process is a political persecution against the largest political party is clearly and unequivocally demonstrated,” Janusev said.
Ilija Dimovski’s trip also moved the dates for the trial for the Titanic case, in which Dimovski is also accused. Although he is now heading the parliamentary delegation, MP Dimovski did not support the constitutional changes in the Parliament, which were one of the conditions for the country’s NATO membership.
According to the indictment, they illegally received at least 4.6 million euros for the party, and then arranged for that money to be transferred to the party’s bank account through payment cards on behalf of various people.
The SPO filed another indictment for the Thaler case for the illicit construction of the party’s headquarters, but the court has not yet confirmed whether it has accepted this charge.
The Thaler case was the reason for attorney Elenco Milanov to initiate a motion before the Supreme Court and asked the highest court to give a legal opinion on the disputed article 22 of the Special Public Prosecution Act. In the opinion of the Supreme Court, the Special Public Prosecutor’s Office cannot initiate charges, open investigations and take over cases, 18 months after acquiring the wiretapped materials. The Criminal Court, where the trial for this case is taking place, asked the State Prosecutor Ljubomir Joveski, to reveal which cases he would take over from the Special Public Prosecutor’s Office and recommend to the prosecutor to seek authentic interpretation to the Parliament about the disputed member of the SPO. The request was sent to the Parliament, but it is unclear when the MPs will have their say. In the meantime, these SPO cases are processed in the Criminal Court, but what will happen to them is uncertain.