The Government is exacting its revenge on former Interior Minister Mitko Cavkov on personal orders from Zoran Zaev, said former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski.

Mitko Cavkov is an innocent victim of political persecution. The incident in the Parliament resulted after the deliberate and unlawful move to elect a new Speaker of the Parliament, which was timed during the two hours when protest were scheduled to take place. The trial against him is a complete farce. The sentences against him and the other defendants have been decided before the trial even began, Gruevski claims.

Gruevski writes that Zaev is attacking Cavkov, who was detained on Monday evening, because Cavkov took part in one of the corruption investigations against Zaev. Zaev was pardoned for corruption as Mayor of Strumica in 2008, and in 2014 he was recorded in a similar case – asking for a bribe from a local businessman. After being appointed Prime Minister and putting the judiciary under his control, he was found not guilty by the court.

This, third in a row arrest of Mitko Cavkov, like the two arrests before, is the result of Zoran Zaev’s personal vendetta against him over the bribery case. In this case, a businessman personally reported that he is being asked for a bribe, and following an order from a prosecutor, Zaev was video recorded in what is a clear cut proof that he is asking for a bribe like it is the natural way of doing business in his town hall. I can only imagine what kind of pressure and torture the businessman who reported the bribe request is being put through in the past few years. Despite the lawfully obtained evidence against Zaev, judges who lead his case, including Dobrila Kacarska, found him innocent. The same judge refused to even order a forensics evaluation of the unlawfully obtained recordings which they used in a case against me, a case where two weeks before the sentencing Zaev stated that I will be sentenced, but he will be released, Gruevski writes.

The two cases, against Gruevski and Zaev, were tried side by side and the verdicts were announced in May 2018, and were just like Zaev predicted they would be.

Gruevski pointed out to other great services which Cavkov rendered to his country, such as his activities to defeat the heavily armed Albanian terrorist group which attacked the city of Kumanovo in May 2015. “This group now has under its effective control the Skopje prison, and attacked former Ministers Mile Janakieski and Spiro Ristovski who were detained there. This is the same prison where the SDSM party now intends to jail Mitko Cavkov and Saso Mijalkov, two men who were for a long the main guarantors of Macedonia’s safety”.