Wiretapping scandal set 38: The “Chair and Tetovo” exchange
The deals of VMRO-DPMNE and DUI are more important than respecting the law, and in order to be realized, sometimes you have to slur over and yield, but that’s why they earn pretty good in the next given chance. Plus, the laws are unimportant, the earnings are crucial – both for VMRO-DPMNE and DUI. Find out about the joint interest cooperation between DUI and VMRO-DPMNE from this set – the last from SDSM’s series “Truth about Macedonia”.
This set of wiretapped conversations, which is the last published by SDSM in 2015, after the Przhino negotiations began, is dedicated to, as Zoran Zaev said, the scams of a small group in the crown of DUI, which keeps the party in Gruevski’s government solely for personal interests, and this group permitted from crime and corruption to the violations of the human rights and freedoms.
In the first recording we hear DUI’s leader, Ali Ahmeti, who “runs a business” via the president of DUI’s branch in Chair, Bekir Asani. Ahmeti arranges the sale of an object in the Chair Municipality to a certain businessman for 1000 euro per square meter. How Ahmeti is hiding himself that he is the one behind this deal shows his request to Asani: “You are going to tell him that it will be kind of difficult to persuade me”.
A BATTLE AGAINST THE DEMOLITION
Later we hear the types of deals when the “political skin” is brought into question. From the following conversation between Gruevski and Ahmeti, we hear that illegal building are not demolished in accordance with law, yet by reaching an agreement. Gruevski solicits an assistance from Ahmeti for two buildings, which are in construction phase in Chair, that have to be demolished as illegal buildings. The investors however, caused havoc and were threatening that a demolition would be a politically bad move of DUI. Gruevski solicits from Ahmeti to calm down the situation, and DUI’s leader gives the permission for demolition of the object in front of the US Embassy. However, this object is still intact. From this conversation we hear that the bosses violate the laws and do what they do in order to gain political points.
From the next conversation between Musa Djaferi and Bekir Asani, in which they both talk in codes, and this implies that they know the conversations are being wiretapped, but in the moment of anxiety they forget about the secrecy. First, they arrange to “remove the fool, Izet’s friend from Gostivar”, and Asani is uptight and reveals the name and also says that he has told him that he is going to be “the first one I’ll f**k, I’ll kill him with a Kalashnikov, yeah, him”. Djaferi then calms Asani down…
The following conversation is between the same two interlocutors. We hear that Djaferi finds the pulling of strings at his colleague from the Ministry of Transport and Communications regarding the demolitions rather difficult. We also hear that VMRO-DPMNE blackmails its coalition partner DUI via Janakieski, by telling them that they will receive permission for building the Skanderbeg Square if they assist with the demolitions in Chair. Asani gives Djaferi a message for Janakieski – “what the hell are you doing there, because if we go in that, who knows where it will come out”. Djaferi on the other hand states that the entire country has budget problems and “we won’t be able to do their “ablution” through Chair and Tetovo”. He says it is unnecessary to irritate people, and requests a call from Asani if there is “some kind of music”, i.e. problems.
HOW CAN YOU MAKE THE ALBANIANS CALL YOU DADDY?
The third conversation unveils a completely new dimension, the subjection of DUI’s official to VMRO-DPMNE i.e. its crown. We hear that there is even a “battle” in DUI for a better link with VMRO-DPMNE’s crown, so Musa Djaferi is insulted because he has been put in secondary position, and the things in this case went through Ahmeti’s chief of cabinet, Artan Grubi. Asani is pissed off by the behavior of the actors in the case of the illegal buildings, Asani’s friends, so he says “I have told you, without f***ing the mother of the Albanians, there is no way for them to call you daddy”.
Afterwards, from the conversation between Jankuloska and an interlocutor (Apostol), we hear that the Civil Engineering Inspectorate asked for police assistance during the demolition of the object near the US Embassy. However, the demolition did not happen because the police was never sent to assist. In this conversation we hear that Jankuloska and Janakieski, afraid there will be additional problems, agreed to postpone the demolition so “they won’t come out and start protesting”. Jankuloska says that the building belongs to “some of their guys, a commander from DUI”.
100.000 EURO FOR MIJALKOV
Later, Zaev presented a transcript, not a recording, from a conversation between Asani and Ahmeti. In it, Asani directs DUI’s leader to inform Gruevski in their upcoming meeting that Mijalkov took 100.000 euro bribery in order to prevent the demolition of that object. “If he objects something, if he makes a fuss, you tell him such, such and such, this is how things stand, if he objects something again, feel free to tell him “your guy took 100.000 for a job in Chair”, because when that Sasho Mijalkov who was a director, he took 100.000 euro, I told you then…”
In the following conversations we hear how DUI’s officials realize theirs and the narrow-party interests. These conversations create the suspicion for one more corruption scandal, this time in the Free economic zone in Tetovo which involves DUI’s high officials. Ahmeti’s chief of cabinet, Artan Grubi, in a conversation with Ahmeti says that the then Minister of Economy Valjon Sarachini decided to grant the Free economic zone in Tetovo to a Turkish firm. Grubi is astounded that the new Minister granted the business to this firm and to reject the other offer. The other offer is from a Norwegian firm which, as we can hear from Grubi himself, had Haki behind it. He on the other hand is considered as one of the major financiers of DUI. So at the end, the Norwegian firm got a hold of the Free economic zone in Tetovo. We can only guess how, why, who and in what way influenced the decision of the Minister Valjon Sarachini, said Zaev in the press conference.
THE BILLS IN THE GOVERNMENT’S “ROADHOUSE”
Next, we hear conversations from which we find out how DUI and VMRO-DPMNE haggle the positions in the government and in the state institutions, that the Albanian ministers are unsatisfied with the competences they have… They also consider who will lay the problems on the table during the meeting about the cooperation with the government. Nevertheless, the main battle is to gain the ministries that bring money, whereupon the “non-lucrative” are underestimated, such as Education, or Defense, for instance. Here, we also see the motives – the politics is the engine of DUI’s “business”. Furthermore, we hear that DUI’s backed down on some issues just because they couldn’t stand to be thrown out of the government. For instance, one of the conversations reveals that a project presented by Ali Ahmeti in the pre-election campaign was rejected, i.es the road Prizren – Tetovo. The then deputy Minister for Transport and Communications, Tahir Hani, personally called Ali Ahmeti to tell him that 80 percent of “DUI’s projects” were rejected from the programme of the Ministry of Transport and Communications.
In the next conversations we unveil the threats and inspections to which the spokesman Bujar Osmani was subjected to, because he was recognized as potential candidate for mayor of Chair. We also hear how DUI in the institutions they manage fire or employ directors, according to their needs, not according to law. Moreover, there is a confession that the University in Tetovo is full with DUI’s cadre, via the reaction of the MP Djevad Ademi, who complains to Ahmeti that their people have been sacked.
Later on, we hear yet one more group of conversations from which we find out that Fatmir Besimi has had a secret meeting with Boris Tadic in the US, at the time when he was a Minister of Defense, how the influential person in DUI, Musa Djaferi, says for himself that he was “even more kafir than the kafirs themselves”. At the end, we hear insults from DUI’s high officials for Struga’s former mayor, Ramiz Merko.
All of the “bombs” are here.
Press conference of Zoran Zaev, president of SDSM, in Skopje, 16th of June 2015
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.