VMRO-DPMNE officials searching for legal loopholes

Constitutional judges at one of the next sessions will decide on the fate of lawyer Elenko Milanov’s initiative, who is the defense attorney of some of the former high-ranking officials of VMRO-DPMNE accused in the cases led by the Special Public Prosecutor’s Office.

The initiative disputes two articles on the amendments to the Criminal Code from 2004 and 2009. The first amendments introduce paragraph 5 of Article 353, according to which most of the former officials are charged, and the second changes increase the prison sentence of at least four, to at least five years imprisonment.

According to the government, the purpose of this initiative is to transfer public procurement responsibilities to public procurement commissions and to protect former officials from liability. The motion requires that the cases currently being conducted, referring to criminal offenses related to abuse of office and authority, be stopped until the Constitutional Court has delivered its ruling.

The initiative was revealed by SDSM MP Kostadin Kostadinov, and the government has publicly asked the constitutional judges not to accept this initiative.
“This is not in accordance with the rule of law. The laws will apply to all and the Government believes that this initiative is completely illogical. At the same time, the motion requires that the cases currently being conducted, referring to crimes related to abuse of official position and authority, be stopped until the Constitutional Court has delivered its ruling.  This is unacceptable in any form. There will be no pardoning in the Republic of Macedonia for anyone who has committed a crime, regardless of ethnicity or political affiliation,” said government spokesman Mile Bosnjakovski.

He says that the Government does not interfere with the work of the court with this call, yet shares its opinion because the Constitutional Court has requested it.
“We must not interfere in the work of the court in any way, and it is not what we are doing now. The Constitutional Court always asks for opinions from different institutions. Our opinion, according to us, is not obligatory,” says Bosnjakovski.

The Constitutional Court does not interpret this call as pressure because the court, according to the standard work, always asks for opinions from the Government and the Assembly, except when it comes to laws.

The court said that when the case is put on the agenda of any of the next sessions, the court will also pronounce on the substance of the motion and the interim measure that is required, ie the request to stop the proceedings until the judgment has been delivered.

“If the Court considers that a procedure should be initiated, a procedure can be initiated and a temporary measure may be initiated, but there can be a procedure initiated, but temporary measure does not have to be initiated. These are instruments for the work of the Constitutional Court,” Constitutional Court stated.
After the SDSM revealed that there was such an initiative submitted, some of Gruevski’s lawyers denied it, and he himself announced that he was in no way charged with abuse of office. But the Constitutional Court, however, confirmed that such an initiative was filed by a lawyer who defended some of the accused former officials.

So far, there are fifty defendants in 11 SPO cases, who are prosecuted for the criminal act of abuse of office. Among them are former officials and ministers Mile Janakieski in “Toplik” and “Trajectory”, Gordana Jankuloska in “Tank” and “Target”, Saso Mijalkov in “Vault”, Elizabeta Kancevska Milevska in “Tenders”.

Frosina Fakova – Serafinovic