Wiretapping scandal set 30: Nikola Mladenov

Ten new doubts about the car accident. Photo: Igor Banskoliev/Nova Makedonija


The wiretapped conversations presented in this set show that the government’s explanation regarding the death of Nikola Mladenov “does not hold water”, said Zaev in this press conference while presenting this set. This is evident in a conversation in which Ivo Kotevski says that the examining magistrate miscarried some things during the investigation – however, according to him, that’s something the public is not supposed to hear.


This set of wiretapped conversations creates gigantic doubts in the official version of the death of the journalist Nikola Mladenov, showing that the investigation was poorly conducted, and that many key information about the accident that can create a completely different image, are hidden. We find out from these conversations that it is difficult to accept as truthful what’s been officially asserted: that there are no traces about a crash with another vehicle; that it could not be determined where Mladenov was before the tragic event; that Mladenov’s phone is not found; that there were not fiscal receipts on site; that Mladenov’s body was found 7 meters from the vehicle; that the reason is unadjusted speed to the road conditions, emphasized the leader of SDSM in the press conference.



The first two conversations are between Gordana Jankuloska and Martin Protugjer. In the first one, Protugjer requests from the MOI not to present any findings in the public; whereas in the second we hear a clear confirmation from the Minister that the body and the “Mercedes” were found by locating Mladenov’s phone, whereas the official information for the media was that Mladenov’s phone was never found. In the next conversation between Vlatko Mijalkov and an unknown person we also hear that Mladenov’s body was found by locating the phone.

In the following conversations we hear a confirmation that the examining magistrate, who was appointed to investigate this case, worked on such case for the first time and was inexperienced. Jankuloska’s deputy, Ivo Kotevski, says that the examining magistrate miscarried some things during the investigation, that the examining magistrate is bad at what he does, but all of this according to him, should not be publicly presented. Ivo Kotevski admits that the people in the MOI are uncoordinated and that the Administration for Security and Counterintelligence (ASCI) did not cooperate with the examining magistrate at all, and also that the examining magistrate did not know where to send Mladenov’s vehicle for forensic expertise.



Then we hear a conversation between Jankuloska and Protugjer in which he informs the Minister that he received a message from Zhoro (Zoran Dimitrovski, the then editor-in-chief of “Nova Makedonija”), who informed him that he has evidence related to Mladenov’s accident that are taken from the accident scene (the fiscal receipts, found by the journalist Tomislav Kezharovski). Both decide to refer Dimitrovski to the examining magistrate or to the public prosecutor, and Jankuloska offers herself to arrange a meeting with the prosecutor on duty, or “directly with Marko”, thinking of Zvrlevski.

In the next conversation, between Jankuloska and Kotevski, we notice Kotevski’s anxiety because of “this idiot Tomche”, thinking of Kezharovski, who published the photos of the fiscal receipts, which he found at the accident scene, in the Nova Makedonija daily. Jankuloska finds these fiscal receipts irrelevant. Next, we hear about the panic caused by this article of the Nova Makedonija daily in the Basic Court Skopje 1 and to the examining magistrate, and also about the rumors spread by some policemen (probably for the work of the examining magistrate as well), so there was a request to the MOI to deny the rumors… Kotevski and Jankuloska make fun of the inexperienced examining magistrate as being “somebody from the newly employed”, and Jankuloska says “from the municipal”, thinking of some Municipal committee of VMRO-DPMNE that sent lists of members for party employments.



But this conversation reveals other key evidence about this case, which creates serious doubts. Kotevski informs Jankuloska that at the back of Mladenov’s car there was, as he says, “some paint”, but MOI’s forensics could not determine how old it was. He says “I don’t want to even think what would happen if this information leaks, we are f***ed, go try and prove the opposite then…”. Then they arrange what to answer to the journalists who will ask why everything was not collected from the accident scene. We also hear a confirmation that not all items were collected, and Kotevski finds the photos from these items highly important. In addition, Jankuloska and Kotevski think that the fiscal receipts are not important and the trajectory of Mladenov’s movement is not an information that the public should know. Kotevski adds that the ASCI determined the entire trajectory of Mladenov’s movement by the triangulation by the cell towers. Jankuloska also says that the information about Mladenov’s movement “is not for the public”. Then, we hear Kotevski saying that the cameras at the pay tolls, and also at the entrance of Skopje, near the settlement of Chento, were off. Jankuloska then says this is not something the journalists should be interested in…



In the last conversation from this set, Kotevski and Jankuloska make black humor jokes and are angry because the journalists acknowledge Mladenov that much. We also hear that Kotevski engaged Trendo to send text messages to Goran Temenugov “Who’s next”, “Did you see what happened with Nikolche”. He also says that during the commemoration for Mladenov, somebody was supposed to ask the journalist Branko Geroski if his tires are inflated, so he will be afraid to enter his car…

In this conversation we hear one more thing “that ours told me, and is not for the public” – i.e. Mladenov made a half hour break near the cell tower at the Skopje airport… Then we hear unprecedented joy because the last call before Mladenov left his home was from Geroski, so they think of a newspaper title “What did Gero tell before sending him into death”. Or, Jankuloska says, Gero sent him into death, and we hear laughing, whereas Kotevski regrets that this message cannot be publicly presented, because that’s possible only upon court order.

Nevertheless, Gruevski knew about the part of Mladenov’s car covered with other paint. Zaev also presented an SMS Jankuloska to Gruevski sent on 3 April 2013.

“Today at 2PM the crime-technical report will be explained to examining magistrate at the MOI. There is one inconvenience though, the car has paint from another car. Unfortunately for the examining magistrate, this was his first case and our people say he is not dealing with it at best.” wrote Jankuloska to Nikola Gruevski.


All of the “bombs” are here.


Press conference of Zoran Zaev, president of SDSM, in Skopje, 7th of May 2015

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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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