Former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski became a VIP fugitive, former intelligence officials Goran Grujovski and Nikola Boskoski who are accused of being behind the massive wiretapping in Macedonia are free citizens in Greece, and Alil Demiri and Afrim Ismailovic, accused and already convicted for the five-time murder near Smilkovo Lake, are also walking freely in Pristina.
Prime Minister Zoran Zaev promises that he will bring his predecessor back to Macedonia to serve his prison sentence, but practice shows that those who have fled justice have never returned to court or in prison.
The verdict of the Greek Supreme Court, which denied the extradition of Grujovski and Boskoski, has been traveling for more than half a year from Athens to the Macedonian Justice Ministry in Skopje. Minister Renata Deskoska, when she took over the post, announced she would send a new request to Athens, which would explain the situation concerning these fugitives, but still has not received the verdict in order to send the request.
Macedonia sent a new request for extradition of the first defendants in the Monster case, but the Kosovo authorities still haven’t answered.
The justice ministry is now working on completing the necessary documentation for the extradition of former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, but cannot predict when exactly will be completed and sent to Budapest. They say that due to the sensitivity of the materials, they cannot provide more information for the time being.
Although Macedonia has no extradition agreement with Hungary, the Ministry says it has a legal basis for Macedonia to request extradition from Hungary to Gruevski, and that is the European Convention on Extradition and the Law on International Cooperation in Criminal Matters.
Macedonia is calling for legal procedures and international law, but diplomats say that if the country where the fugitive is located is willing to deliver, all procedures can be skipped.
“If that country wants to hand over the fugitive, the entire extradition procedure can be skipped and use the so-called readmission procedure, and the fugitive is returned to the country he/she came from. But this is exclusively at the will of the other side,” said diplomat Saso Todorovski.
But obviously, neither Kosovo has the will to deliver the defendants of the Monster case who have been there for over six years, neither Greece, nor Hungary has the political will to hand over the former prime minister to Macedonian authorities. In such situations, Todorovski says the reciprocity institute can be applied, but emphasizes that they are quite severe measures.
Usually in such situations the institute reciprocity is applied, that is, our country imprisons foreign citizens who have committed a criminal act in the country and then swap them for their citizens in that country, but these are quite severe measures,” Todorovski said.
The situation with former high-ranking officials accused of serious crimes and dual citizenships who manage to escape from Macedonia, was expected to change in 2011 when Macedonia, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia signed extradition agreements.
However, these bilateral agreements did not always prove to be effective. Such is the case with former Customs Director Dragan Daravelski, who thanks to his Serbian citizenship avoided extradition to Macedonia for almost two decades, where he was convicted of serious misconduct while serving as Director of Customs during the period from 1999 to 2002, during the government of Ljubco Georgievski.
“The procedure with the Republic of Serbia is under way. The Ministry of Justice uses all the channels available to it under the multilateral and bilateral agreements to successfully implement extradition procedures,” Justice Ministry said.
Due to dual citizenship, Macedonian and Bulgarian, Bankruptcy Trustee Vladimir Tamburkovski has managed to escape justice for many years.
Only former Minister of Health Vlado Dimov has returned to Macedonia, but not in prison or court, but as a free citizen after all charges against him were withdrawn.
Only Mile Hadziski, the defendant for the brutal murder of the Skopje citizen Meri Josevska, was the one who faced justice. After 20 years he was brought back to Macedonia and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Talks between defendants in the Monster will be known at the end of the trial
The communication between the defendants in the Monster case will be known at the end of the trial for this case. Their communications are held by the special prosecutor’s office and the court, and the SPO will quote them in the closing words from the Monster process. From the interrogation of the experts, the communications of Agim Ismailovic, Haki Aziri, Sejdi Rami, Fejzi Aziri and another 15 people were seized from their computers, almost a month after the massacre in Smilkovci.
“These communications are in fact emails, messages sent between them, Facebook communications, Skype talks, but still what interests the court most are actually the content that’s inside and the content is not within the competence of these skilled people, but of another additional processing, which processing will be presented and used in the court,” said Dafina Ivanovska, the legal representative of the families.
The defense says that there is no evidence for the massacre near Smilkovo Lake from the communications between the defendants.
The Monster trial continues in three weeks, and judicial medical experts need to explain the deadly injuries that were inflicted on the four young boys and the fisherman in detail. They were killed on Good Thursday six years ago by two Kalashnikov rifles and one handgun that were fired at them.
Frosina Fakova – Serafinovic