Mickoski hasn’t read Priebe?!

Hristijan Mickoski. Photo: Screenshot

Offering a way out of the crisis by substituting the SPO with another objective prosecutor’s office for prosecuting organized crime and corruption is a sheer truth spinning. With this offer, Mickoski has de facto confirmed that amnesty is important to him and the party, albeit he claims the opposite in public

 

Offering a way out of the crisis by substituting the SPO with another objective prosecutor’s office for prosecuting organized crime and corruption is a sheer truth spinning. With this offer, Mickoski has de facto confirmed that amnesty is important to him and the party, albeit he claims the opposite in public

 

Author: Teofil Blazhevski

 

In his address on 7 October 2018, VMRO-DPMNE’s president, Hristijan Mickoski, made a spin when he said he is offering a way out of the crisis through one special provision:

Spin: The second option I’m offering to mister Zoran Zaev is to renounce the (Prespa) agreement and then let’s have general elections so the people can decide.

And after the elections, as soon as the current politicized prosecutor’s office has done its work, VMRO-DPMNE will support the creation of a new prosecution institution for tackling organized crime and corruption, this time led in a professional manner by a public prosecutor elected by a party consensus who will fight crime, work on cases opened by the existing special prosecutor’s office, and will have the opportunity to further investigate and analyze the illegally obtained recordings claimed to be insufficiently investigated due to the short mandate. But, he will also analyze and investigate the operational period of the incumbent government and all scandals and suspicions for crimes related to the incumbent government, including the irregularities arising from the referendum. Plus, all of the illegally obtained intercepted materials regarding Zoran Zaev and SDSM…

…I’m offering a way out of the crisis, abandonment of the agreement, judgment for the crime and justice for each and every citizen of this country. That’s what Macedonia needs.

[Source: VMRO-DPMNE/website, date: 7 October 2018]

 

Counter-spin: VMRO-DPMNE’s leader made several manipulations at this press conference, whereas the star of the show was the spin about the “politicized SPO”, followed by Mickoski’s presentation of himself as the person offering a way out of the crisis.

Using the format of expression he accepted and spread before and after the referendum, that the people sent a message to Zaev to step down, Mickoski’s introduction to the main spin was following:

Primarily, this agreement (Prespa Agreement, our remark) doesn’t get wider acceptance not because of VMRO-DPMNE’s spite or unprincipled demands, but the government should know and understand once and for all that the people don’t accept it.

 

WHO ARE THE PEOPLE THAT MICKOSKI REFERS TO?

Lie repeated a hundred times becomes truth, that’s the guiding thought of this claim. Therefore, every spin should be debunked, a hundred times if needed.

The public has no idea whether the “people”, the wide category when it comes to patriotic speeches, accept or don’t accept or don’t have a stance on the Prespa Agreement. Who are the people that Mickoski refers to?

The ones supporting the Agreement – more than 600 thousand citizens of the RM, the tens of thousands who voted against, the ones who didn’t feel the need to vote because they have never voted, the ones who boycotted deliberately, thus expressing a political position, but were also afraid to vote being greatly, both publicly and secretly, spurred by VMRO-DPMNE to abstain or the people emigrating to the extent that nobody remained in Macedonia. They, as emigrants, on the one hand they are a part of the electoral rolls, while on the other, very few of the emigrants vote, and by doing so they have an impact on the turnout.

The public doesn’t know the answer to this question – who are the people that Mickoski refers to? However, it knows quite well that more than 600 thousand, out of up to 1.2 million voters regularly casting their vote in the several last elections, voted “Yes” on the Prespa Agreement.

But, this spin served as an introduction to the main one – that he’s offering a way out of the crisis by forming a new prosecutor’s office for organized crime (as soon as the current SPO has done its work), which would finish SPO’s cases, analyze all unanalyzed recordings, especially the ones mentioning Zaev.

Then, the question is whether VMRO-DPMNE’s new leadership, with Hristijan Mickoski at the helm, has read the two reports of European Union’s senior expert group led by the German diplomat Reinhard Priebe, being the first and the last word in overcoming the political crisis and bringing Macedonia closer to the European integrations?

 

PRIEBE: SPO IS COMMITTED AND COMPETENT

Here’s what the experts wrote about SPO’s work in September 2017, when they issued the second report (page 14, item 68):

Despite criticisms, obstruction and non-cooperative attitude of a wide range of key institutions, including an attempt by the President to pardon everyone even potentially under investigation, the Special Prosecutor’s Office is showing commitment and competence. However, limitations and obstructions to the SPO’s mandate raise the question of continuity, being essential in ensuring criminal responsibility….

Hence the recommendations of Priebe’s experts (page 17 and 18):

To ensure criminal responsibility the authorities must ensure that all criminal offences surrounding or arising from the illegal wiretaps are pursued until a final conclusion. The authorities should guarantee continuity either by extending the timeframe for the Special Prosecutor’s Office to carry out investigations and filing indictments or by ensuring that the Public Prosecutor’s Office can pursue these cases…

Evidently, Priebe’s experts nowhere, absolutely nowhere express suspicion or politicization of the SPO. Quite the contrary, they mention “a wide range of obstructions”. This wide range of obstructions to the SPO began in Nikola Gruevski’s last year in power, in January 2016, and it has been continued by Hristijan Mickoski.

Therefore, offering a way out of the crisis with a new prosecutor’s office that would substitute the existing politicized SPO is a sheer spin.

Although he’s talking about dealing with crime, Mickoski is de facto talking about amnesty, hiding it behind the baseless claims of political persecution.

 


This article was created within the framework of the Project to increase the accountability of the politicians and political parties Truthmeter implemented by Metamorphosis. The article is made possible by the generous support of the National Endowment for Democracy(NED) and The Balkan Trust for Democracy (BTD), a project of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, an initiative that supports democracy, good governance, and Euroatlantic integration in Southeastern Europe. The content is the responsibility of its author and does not necessarily reflect the views of Metamorphosis, National Endowment for Democracy, the Balkan Trust for Democracy, the German Marshall Fund of the United States, or its partners.