Wednesday, 19 December 2018 | News today: 16

Hungarian authorities approved Gruevski’s political asylum request, writes “Magyar Idok”

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Hungarian daily Magyar Idok reports that Nikola Gruevski’s request for political asylum in Hungary has been approved by the Office of migration and asylum,

According to the paper, Hungarian authorities performed an extensive review of the asylum request and determined that Gruevski faces both political persecution and death threats if he remains in Macedonia. “It was determined that if he returns to Macedonia, the current Government will submit him to political persecution”, the paper writes.

According to the paper, the asylum request was submitted at the Hungarian Embassy in Tirana, and subsequently the former Macedonian Prime Minister was driven to Hungary, through Montenegro and Serbia. Gruevski first met with Hungarian authorities in Budapest on November 12th, and he detailed the reasons for his request. Gruevski pointed out to numerous serious violations of the rule of law in the five criminal trials initiated against him. “Magyar Idok” reports that the office was informed about the way in which these cases were assigned to judges believed to be politically influenced, and specifically the actions of judge Dobrila Kacarska.

One of the contributing factors were decisions by judges to reject arguments such as the amnesty that was awarded to Gruevski and dozens of other defendants and whose validity was confirmed by the Greek Supreme Court which refused to extradite two other defendants in another case initiated by the Special Prosecutor in Macedonia. The speed of these trials was also looked into, as well as the statement by Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, who all but announced the verdict Gruevski will receive before it was handed down. Another issue which raised concerns that this is a politically motivated trial were the allegations that Gruevski, like other members of Parliament, was offered clemency if he votes in favor of amending the Macedonian Constitution and renaming Macedonia into North Macedonia.

The former Prime Minister, it is believed, also has strong reasons to believe that his life would be in danger in prison in Macedonia, given the numerous police actions against serious organized crime groups undertaken during his term as Prime Minister. Many of the criminals put away in this period are still in prison, and could constitute a threat against Gruevski, “Magyar Idok” writes.

Meanwhile, the Macedonian Justice Ministry sent an extradition request to Hungary, demanding that Gruevski is returned to Macedonia to serve out his sentence and attend the additional four trials.