Judge Dusan Josifov rejected all the requests submitted by the defence during today’s hearing in the SPO initiated case over the 2013 protest in front of the offices of Skopje’s Centar municipality.
The now defunct and disgraced Special Prosecutor’s Office tried to use the protests as an excuse to prosecute then Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski for violence. A crowd loudly protested during a meeting of the municipal Council as the leftist majority there wanted to put an end to the planned reconstruction of the St. Constantine and Helena church in the downtown of the city. A number of windows were smashed but no injuries were reported. Never the less, the SPO used an illegally recorded wiretap to allege that Gruevski wanted the crowd to attack then Centar Mayor Andrej Zernovski.
The defense today asked that the they’re allowed to examine the original recordings of the conversation that is used as evidence, but the judge denied this request. He also rejected demands from the defense to have businessman Jordan Orce Kamcev, the former Mayor of Aerodrom Ivica Konevski and former Government official Kiril Bozinovski called as witnesses.
With Gruevski in political exile in Hungary, and with several lower level defendants forced into plea deals, the trial continues against former Transportation Minister Mile Janakieski, who turned into the “designated fall guy” in the SPO “quest for justice” and former member of Parliament Daniela Rangelova, who has since sided with the ruling SDSM party.