Defense Minister Radmila Sekerinska twice expressed her anger at court cases not going to her liking in the past few days. First she condemned the fact that the case against former security chief Saso Mijalkov, in which he was charged with large scale warrantless wiretapping, reached the statute of limitations. And now, she condemned what she said is the slow progress in the second trial about the April 27 incident in the Parliament.
When I see how slowly the procedure is going about the main culprits, I’m very nervous. I’m not impatient, I am angry, Sekerinska said.
Her open interference in the case can be seen as a clear message to the judges to hurry up and continue to deliver sentences against Sekerinska’s political opponents. Similar statements often come from Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and Justice Minister Bojan Maricic, who are announcing a procedure to investigate judges – another clear message to the judiciary.
The trials Sekerinska named are also notable. In the first, Mijalkov is charged with large scale wiretapping, in which the tapes, miraculously, ended up in the hands of his political opponents – Sekerinska’s SDSM party – to be used to spark the 2015 Colored Revolution. Several rogue intelligence officers aligned with former SDSM appointed security chief Zoran Verusevski – who Zaev later named his security adviser – were charged and one of them admitted to conducting the wiretapping and giving the tapes to Verusevski. But the case was turned on its head by former Special Prosecutor Katica Janeva who dropped the charges against Verusevski and charged Mijalkov. Sekerinska, herself personally close to Janeva (pictured), did not mention this part of the case, or how Janeva was later charged with obscene levels of corruption and abuse of office, and is now sentenced to seven years in prison. In the meantime, Mijalkov is trying to create a faction in the opposition VMRO-DPMNE party, in apparent coordination with SDSM, and the cases against him are grinding to a halt.
The second case, about the 2017 incident in the Parliament, former top VMRO officials are charged with allegedly organizing the protesters who stormed the building after SDSM and DUi provoked them with an irregular vote to elect a new Speaker and by open displays of Albanian nationalism in the building. The initial trial was used to pressure VMRO members of Parliament who helped the protesters enter the building. Three of them were tactically detained, then released after they agreed to vote for the imposed name change of Macedonia, and they are also now being used to stir factionalism in VMRO. They received pardons for their services, while plain protesters received sentenced of up to 15 years in prison for “terrorism”.