Mickoski Changed His Attitude about SPO Cases – Now He Doesn’t Want Them Transferred to PPO
The leader of the main opposition party, Hristijan Mickoski, in a speech to his fellow party members, expressed an attitude that we deem inconsistent:
…These days we see an active scenario and an enormous amount of energy being put in concealing evidence of government crimes.
Astonished by Katica Janeva’s passion for work, even overtime, we see a letter where she orders the cases to be handed over to Ruskoska in the Public Prosecutor’s Office. In other words, to keep them safer and to keep the strings of political pressure on the opposition. So, from one SDSM safe to another SDSM safe. And they think that in this way they will scare us. But they are living in a lie about this one too…
[Source: ВМРО-ДПМНЕ/веб/говор на Мицкоски – Date: 5 September 2019]
VMRO-DPMNE President Hristijan Mickoski, addressing his country’s independence before his fellow party members expressed disagreement with the possibility of returning all cases of the Special Public Prosecutor’s Office (SPO) to the Public Prosecutor’s Office (PPO), an actuality forced by the former Special Prosecutor Katica Janeva and the legal vacuum that could arise after September 15, and even earlier, if Janeva is dismissed by the Assembly and the Council of Public Prosecutors.
Mickovski in his latest statement argues that both the letter and the possible transfer which, at the time of writing of this text, is increasingly certain to happen, is the motive to keep the cases safer in order to keep the strings of political pressure on the opposition.
The opposition party leader’s attitude has been bizarre and inconsistent due to VMRO-DPMNE’s ongoing efforts in recent months to negotiate with the government over the new Law on Public Prosecutor’s Office. Those efforts of VMRO-DPMNE went in the direction of transferring the SPO cases to the state PPO, returning of the prosecutors to their home prosecution offices, and then the PPO being the institution to decide which prosecution would continue to prosecute before the Criminal Court in Skopje.
This is what Mickoski said in a brief interview on Sitel TV on 24 July:
Now we come to what is acceptable and what will be part of our proposal: all cases that have been opened at the level of accusation by June 30, 2017- this is the legal deadline when the SPO authorized plaintiff opened them – to be handed over to the state prosecutor, and not to the prosecutor that is to lead the new prosecution for organized crime and high corruption. A state prosecutor should take them in the stage where they are and according to the recommendations of the expert public – here you can see the case of Professor Kalajdziev – to distribute those processes to the prosecution offices where they belong…
Mickovski’s attitude was then deemed as a spin because it is quite clear that such doing, which he justified as having legal weight and argumentation, would have delayed the proceedings. Namely, according to the LCP, any appointment of a new prosecutor or prosecutor in charge of the proceedings requires the parties in the trial to declare whether it is acceptable or not to resume the proceedings already begun the courtroom or to start anew. In addition, Articles 371 and 372 of the Law on Criminal Procedure state that if the main hearing is adjourned for 90 days, there must be a re-presentation of evidence or that the main hearing after the termination must continue before the same judge who had previously held it, etc.
These are all reasons that can lead to delays in court proceedings and obsolescence of certain crimes, although in the articles we have quoted and in others as well there are safeguards the judge may apply after hearing the parties in the procedure.
However, this is another problem that both the government and the opposition will face. It is a fact that Mickoski changed his attitude from July and now he is indirectly opposed to the transfer of the cases to the RNM Public Prosecutor’s Office, considering that this prosecution is “Ruskoska’s Prosecutor’s Office” and “SDSM’s safe”.
Therefore, we deem Mickoski’s statement in relation to the possibility of transferring the SPO cases, as inconsistent.
- VMRO-DPMNE: Мора да се стави крај на егзодусот…[Accessed on 6 September 2019]
- TV Sitel: Интервју со Христијан Мицкоски [Accessed on 6 September 2019]
- Akt.mk: Закон за кривична постапка/интегрален текст [Accessed on 6 September 2019]