The trial for a case where an MP is being tried for election irregularities is postponed because the MP is supposed to attend a coordination meeting with the Parliament Speaker. This news that came out of the building of the Skopje-based Criminal Court yesterday is all you need to know about the way the rule of law works.
The MP elected by the people, whose name is the least important, is fully aware that the political power he has is a better defense than all the world’s lawyers and doesn’t even try to hide it. On the contrary, he makes it clear that attending hearings is a problem for him because he cannot do his job in the Parliament. He is the coordinator of one of the ruling political parties, and it is likely that a conviction against him is out of the question. Well, since the trial is a show, comic additives are also allowed. Or tragic, depending on how one sees justice.
And justice in Macedonia has not been taken seriously for a long time. It serves only for making threats and as an additional means of pressure to achieve the more important political goals. The emphasis, of course, is on politicians.
When it comes to them, it seems logical that when a convicted terrorist is pardoned, even a law will be tailored only for him, because his two fingers are extremely important in Parliament. Their demands for postponing their jail time and buying time are so real that judges have no choice but to accept them. Their reasons for new and more interrupted hearings with the most banal excuses become so often that the trial really taking place is huge news. In the end, their confrontation with justice looks like a kid confronting a toy store, not the dentist’s office.
The disappointment among the citizens with the rule of law is no longer even felt, but has turned into unbearable apathy and this should worry those who create social processes. When citizens do not believe in the capacity of their own state, they will either look for a way out of the country or stay at home, but they will also try to become part of a system where accountability is a missing category.
Certainly hearing that the trial of big and important processes involving a number of (former) officials is delayed and rescheduled due to the absence of a judge or prosecutor does not help bring back the confidence in the justice system. And that’s when no one of the defendants is finally sick or has something more important to do at the moment than come to court where he is charged with crime. Or when a detainee in prison is not summoned for the trial, so the hearing has to be adjourned.
The suspicion that this shameless collection of crime, power, influence, interests, and the political background involves all of them, including those directly responsible for justice, has begun to play out.
There is no place for justice in this society. It will have to wait for some other times. There may be hope for it, especially if one knows that it’s a bit slow. But there’s no hope for us, the ordinary citizens.