A Skopje court declared that the sentencing in the 2013 protests in the Centar municipality will take place tomorrow, only a day after the key defendant Mile Janakieski gave his final statement. The speed with which the sentencing date was announced raised suspicions that the verdict is already written – especially given the political background of the case.

There are already speculations in the public as to how long the sentence will be. Somebody well known apparently needs to be sentenced even if there is no evidence against him. Your honor, I expect that you will uphold your sworn duty and will find me not guilty, given that the evidence clearly points my way, Janakieski said in his closing argument.

The Zaev regime insisted on this and a number of similar trials aimed against former VMRO-DPMNE party officials. The final statements in this trial were held on the same day that former Interior Minister Gordana Jankuloska was escorted into prison, to begin serving her four year sentence in another of the trials initiated by the now completely discredited Special Prosecutor’s Office.