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North Macedonia

Northern Macedonia: International order issued for Sašo Mijalkov

The Ministry of Interior of Northern Macedonia issued an international arrest warrant on Monday afternoon for the former head of the UBK, Sašo Mijalkov, who has been missing since yesterday afternoon, after the police failed to submit the decision for his house arrest. , which was taken as a precautionary measure by the Criminal Court at the request of the prosecutor.

The disappearance of Nikola Gruevski, a former strongman and former VMRO-DPMNE member, has provoked a backlash both at the political level and on social media.

Sašo Mijalkov is one of the accused for illegal telephone tapping of more than 20 thousand citizens during the period 2008-2015. According to the indictment, through three communication monitoring systems by UBK, 4,286 telephone numbers were illegally monitored for which no court orders were issued.

In its final statement on the “Target Fortress” case, as the wiretapping scandal was called, the prosecutor’s office demanded a maximum sentence for Sašo Mijalkov with the decision to be announced on Friday, February 26th.

Northern Macedonian President Stevo Pendarovski called for an investigation as soon as possible into how Sao Mijalkov escaped, to shed light on the matter and whether there were any omissions from the competent authorities to take responsibility.

“Such developments are unacceptable for a country that expects to start accession negotiations with the European Union and that works hard to reform the judiciary and build trust in the rule of law.” “This discredits the efforts and hopes to tackle crime and corruption at the highest levels,” Pendarovski said.

The President of Northern Macedonia stressed that the institutions should take all measures to implement the decision to place the former director of the UBK under house arrest.

“Citizens demand responsibility, both criminally and morally. “The fight for the rule of law means that anyone who has broken the law must be punished,” said President Pendarovski.

VMRO-DPMNE Deputy Leader Aleksandar Nikoloski at a press conference blamed the government for Sao Mijalkov’s escape, saying the rumored coalition between Zaev and Mijalkov has now become real.

“The alliance of Vice Zaev, Zoran Zaev and Saso Mijalkov in October 2018, has now been confirmed. “In October 2018, when we expelled Mijalkov from VMRO-DPMNE, we publicly stated that there was a secret alliance, which not only for these three years, but also 15 years ago was working to destroy Macedonia,” Nikoloski said.

“The ransom came this weekend, allowing him to evade justice. Now we have a fugitive. “Spasovski is silent, Sekerinska is nowhere to be found and Zaev is shifting responsibility,” Nikoloski said.

“Macedonia is run by a criminal alliance. “Therefore we are waiting for him to be brought to justice in the next 24 hours,” Nikoloski said, adding that he did not expect them to do so.

“Obviously there is an agreement on the conditions under which he is allowed to escape or negotiate the conditions under which he will be extradited. So I do not expect him to surrender. “This government must resign today,” Nikoloski said.

The State Department also took a stand on Sašo Mijalkov’s escape with a statement from his VOA spokesman, noting that “we are familiar with the reports and are closely monitoring the situation.”

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