Although Judicial Council’s president Zoran Karadjovski publicly said that “these days” he and the members of the Judicial Council who have secrecy certificates will make a statement on Ministry of Justice’s report on the functioning of the ACCMIS (Automated Court Case Management Information System) in the Criminal Court of Skopje as well as the Supreme Court – they still haven’t done that. Therefore, we consider this situation as inconsistency.
Those members who have certificates will work intensively these days and we will have to do something and notify the public what we have done about that. Because the Minister was publicly asked and he said that it has been classified as top secret material, the members who don’t have secrecy certificate are waiting to receive one.
[Source: TV 21 – Судскиот совет наскоро ќе се произнесе за АКМИС-от, date: 23 January 2018]
The statement was made on 23 January 2018, and it’s been at least two weeks since. We believe that “these days” is a term which cannot refer to a period longer than a week or two, hence the grounds for deeming the statement as inconsistent. But, following the history of the problem with the ACCMIS in the Criminal and Supreme Court, it’s easy to notice that this is not Karadjovski’s first inconsistent statement.
His statements related to this problem went from total denial, guarantees that there aren’t abuses, to justifying the tardiness of Judicial Council’s assessment because some members don’t have secrecy certificates, which are necessary because the Report has a certain degree of secrecy.
Back in September last year, SDK.mk published an article on this issue which contains a statement made by a judge from the Criminal Court 1, Vladimir Tufegdjikj, who claims that in 2014 he notified the Judicial Council in writing about irregularities in the use of the ACCMIS. The same article argues that the source is a female judge from the same court, who asserts that she notified the Council in 2016 too. Despite these assertions, Karadjovski stated that neither he nor the Council have such written notifications in their possession.
At the beginning of October, when the investigation initiated by the Ministry of Justice and led by the professor Lazar Nanev was underway, the SPO started a preliminary investigation regarding the ACCMIS as well, there was a hearing in the Criminal Court 1 and the target was the computer system, office and home of the court’s former president Vladimir Panchevski.
After all of this, Karadjovski stood his ground by claiming that he doesn’t know anything and there weren’t any complaints addressed to the Council… “I have nothing new to say other than I’ve said so far”.
The same article includes Karadjovski’s statement from September 2016, when he said that he had personally checked the system.
Right after the cases were allocated and after the fuss why the judges Tatjana Mihajlova and Lidija Petrovska got them, I entered the ACCMIS system from here, from my office, which allows me to enter and check the allocation of cases in any court at any given moment. The system tells whether some court president manipulates the cases. That’s how it’s been set, with American experts’ assistance. These two cases have been allocated electronically, I saw that and I don’t doubt it.
The very same day, Karadjovski said the same for other media outlets too. For instance, he told Kanal 5 that there are no indications of manual allocation of cases and there are no complaints addressed to the Council.
Karadjovski hasn’t made a new statement even after the Ministry of Justice announced, without many details, that the Report found “series of inconsistencies” related to the case allocation and the use of the ACCMIS. With regard to the findings concerning the Criminal Court in Skopje, the Minister of Justice, Bilen Saljiji, in December last year stated:
- The provisions of the Law on Managing the Movement of Cases in Courts, pursuant to which the ACCMIS must be used for managing the movement of cases in courts, weren’t respected.
- The automated case allocation module wasn’t used, allocation was performed manually.
- The cases weren’t moving towards judges, that wasn’t recorded, and the court archivist selected an expert who selected a criminal council before which they will refer the case.
- During the investigation in the court, it was found that more than 860 cases haven’t been allocated to judges. This questions the accuracy of the statistical data in the monthly and annual reports on the work of the court and judges delivered to higher courts, the Judicial Council of the Republic of Macedonia and the Ministry of Justice.
- – Judges were excluded from the automatic case allocation without a written decision containing an order and without justified reason. That was done only with court president’s paraph and a phone call to the court’s archive.
This press conference took place at the beginning of December. Afterwards, the report was delivered to the State Prosecutor’s Office and the Special Prosecutor’s Office. On 30 January 2018, the heads of the two prosecution offices held a joint meeting. On 2 February 2018, Ljubomir Jovevski, state prosecutor of the Republic of Macedonia, confirmed that a preliminary investigation has been initiated.
Up to this time, 5 February 2018, Judicial Council’s president Zoran Karadjovski hasn’t given the assessment on the Ministry of Justice’s report, neither as the Council’s president nor on behalf of the Council alongside with the other members, although he promised that two weeks ago, thus making the promise inconsistent. Part of the blame is put on to the Ministry of Justice, which still hasn’t explained why the report has a high degree of confidentiality, but that doesn’t change our opinion of Karadjovski’s statement.
- TV 21 – Судскиот совет наскоро ќе се произнесе за АКМИС-от – [accessed on 05 February 2018]
- SDK.mk – Караџовски ги игнорирал приговорите… – [accessed on 05 February 2018]
- Kanal 5 TV – Нема индиции за рачно распределувани предмети – [accessed on 05 February 2018]
- Sudstvo.mk – Лазар Нанев: Истрагата за АКМИСОТ заврши… – [accessed on 05 February 2018]
- Ministry of Justice – Обраќање на министерот за правда… – [accessed on 05 February 2018]
- FOKUS.mk – Извештајот за делење судски предмети на рака… – [accessed on 05 February 2018]
- State Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Macedonia –Одржана е средба помеѓу Јавниот обвинител и Специјалниот– [accessed on 05 February 2018]
- SDK.mk – Скопското обвинителство отвори предистрага за… – [accessed on 05 February 2018]
Assessed by: Teofil Blazhevski