The defense in the TNT trial requested that prosecutor Burem Rustemi is removed from the case for his open bias toward one of the parties in the trial. The case is aimed against top former VMRO-DPMNE party officials, and was initiated by now disgraced Special Prosecutor Katica Janeva.
She accused former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and other officials of contributing to the demolition of the large residential complex being built by politically linked businessman Fijat Canoski in Skopje. The complex surpassed its permit and the town hall ordered its demolition. Canoski is suing the state and demands a huge damages payment.
The case was picked up by Special Prosecutor Janeva as part of her campaign to bring VMRO-DPMNE down and help elevate the SDSM party to power. During the trial, it was revealed that another developer, a relative of Canoski, Ardijan Amzoski, has paid over 850,000 EUR to Janeva’s close friend and extortion associate Bojan Jovanovski – Boki 13. The defense claims that this payment was clearly meant for Janeva, and is part of her share of the spoils in case Canoski eventually gets the court to order the payment of tens of millions of euros in damages for the demolished complex.
In 2017, Amzoski faced charges for unlawful construction in Skopje. The case was picked up by Janeva, who quickly decided to put an end to it and to protect Amzoski from prosecution. The payment is apparently part of the deal. After the case was thrown out by the prosecutor, Amzoski sent a text message to Jovanovski to thank him for his help with getting Janeva to end the case and then offered him to move ahead in a joint venture. “SPO (Janeva’s office) withdrew the case. Thank you from the heart. Now let’s get to work in peace” is the message Amzoski sent to Jovanovski.
Janeva’s underling who led the case against Amzoski was Burim Rustemi, who is now leading the TNT case. Despite the huge wealth of evidence of corruption and abuse of office on the part of Janeva’s office, her prosecutors were re-hired in the state prosecutor’s office and continue to pursue the cases she initiated against VMRO.