“Trajectory” – Commissions for the Chinese worth millions ended up in government officials’ pockets

 

The evidence gathered thus far in the procedure give rise to the reasonable suspicion that in the procedure for selection of a company which will build the highway sections Miladinovci – Stip and Kicevo – Ohrid, the four officials, in addition to the circumvention of the Law on Public Procurement, acted contrary to the conditions set out by the Chinese government and the Chinese “Exim Bank” as the lender

 

In the press conference from 22 May 2017, the Special Prosecution Office (SPO) announced that it has launched a new investigation under the code name “Trajectory”, which is against four high government officials. According to the SPO, in 2012 and 2013, during the selection of contractor that will build the highways Miladinovci – Stip and Kicevo – Ohrid, they didn’t adhere to the tender implementation rules and allowed one company to gain illicit financial benefit. These persons, during the procedure of searching the best contractor, selected the contractor that bid higher than the second company included in the tender, which is contrary to the rules for public procurements and contrary to the conditions set by the Chinese government and the Chinese Exim Bank, and they inflicted damage to the budget of at least 150 million euro.

As Telma TV station said, suspects in this case are the ex-Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, the former government officials Vladimir Peshevski and Mile Janakieski, as well as the former director of the Public Enterprise for State Roads, Ljupcho Georgievski. The highways Miladinovce – Stip and Kicevo – Ohrid are being built by the Chinese construction engineering company Sinohydro.

In her explanation of this case, the prosecutor Fatime Fetai said that this investigation

is against four officials – former senior government officials, who fall under reasonable suspicion that in the second half of 2012 and in the course of 2013 abused and overstepped their authorizations in the procedure for selection of a company-contractor for construction of the highway sections Miladinovci – Stip and Kicevo – Ohrid and inflicted damage to the National Budget of RM in the amount of at least 155.117.172 euro and brought the company – contractor material gain in the same amount.

The evidence gathered thus far in the procedure give rise to the reasonable suspicion that in the procedure for selection of a company which will build the highway sections Miladinovci – Stip and Kicevo – Ohrid, the four officials, in addition to the circumvention of the Law on Public Procurement, acted contrary to the conditions set out by the Chinese government and the Chinese Exim Bank as the lender. Even though, the suspects, according to the predetermined conditions, were supposed to select a contractor under the domestic legislation after they had submitted the project documentation to the Chinese companies which were on the list of companies qualified to carry out such projects, they did not do so, and submitted the project documentation to only two Chinese companies. Reasonable suspicion exists that in the month of January 2013, despite having received two bids, the three suspects incited by the main suspect conducted negotiations only with one company, and despite the fact that during the negotiations with the first company, the second company which was not even invited for negotiations, submitted an additional lower bid, they did not document this offer and hid it, whereafter they initialled the agreed text of the agreement on the construction of the highway sections Miladinovci – Stip and Kicevo – Ohrid with the company that had a higher offer. Reasonable suspicion exists that the suspects committed the criminal offence Abuse of Official Position and Authorization under Article 353 Paragraph 5 in relation to Paragraph 1 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Macedonia.

The entire press conference is available here, whereas the media reports regarding this event are available here (in Macedonian).

 


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.

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