SDSM file charges, Janakieski and Jankulovska top targets
We recently witnessed the announcement of the first official procedure of the Special Prosecutors Office (SPO) on election fraud, whereby the detention of eight persons was requested, related to the indications found in the illegally intercepted telephone conversation, i.e. the ‘bombs’ released by the opposition party SDSM.
Titled “Titanic” by the SPO, the case investigates, among others, Gordana Jankulovska and Mile Janakieski, ministers in the government of ex-Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski,. The case stems from the materials detailing the illegal intercepts, as well as all other elements of the pre-investigative and investigative procedures resulting from the case processing by the special and ‘regular’ public prosecutors, who received the criminal charges filed by SDSM on several occasions as the ‘bombs’ were presented to the public in 2015.
Charges can be filed against anyone and the fact they were pressed does not have to mean anything. But this may not be the case here, as the charges are related to the indications heard in wiretapped conversations. The criminal charges and the procedures initiated or just formally opened by the public prosecution were rendered to the SPO in accordance with the law.
This can serve as a point of comparison or an indication of the bearings for SPO’s future work and thus a careful review of the criminal charges may provide some insight. In this instance, we will only look into the identity of the defendants and the number of charges filed.
Last year’s charges filed by SDSM included a total of 10 individuals, senior government, ministry, municipality or State Election Commission officials. Specifically, charges were filed against Nikola Gruevski, Gordana Jankulovska, Mile Janakieski, Sasho Mijalkov, Goran Gruevski, Ljupcho Todorovski, Martin Protugjer, Ljupcho Dimovski, Toni Trajkovski, and Bedredin Ibrahimi.
The charges refer to the illegal wiretapping of SDSM president Zoran Zaev, illegal actions related to the elections, abuse of the Ministry of the Interior, more actions related to the elections or the political activity of individuals, Vodno land lots, bribe, demolition of Fijat Canoski’s “Cosmos” tower, and the illegal arrest of Ljube Boshkovski.
Most charges have been filed against Mile Janakieski. Those charged include:
- Mile Janakieski – 13 counts
- Gordana Jankulovska – 10 counts
- Nikola Gruevski – 5 counts
- Marin Protugjer – 5 counts
- Sasho Mijalkov – 4 counts
The remaining 5 individuals were each charged on 1 count.