US Ambassador Jess Baily reportedly sent a letter to the Skopje Criminal Court demanding that judges stop using his name when ordering detention against former VMRO-DPMNE officials or when sentencing them to prison.
According to the SDK news site, Baily sent the letter to Criminal Court head Ivan Dzolev, saying that he is “disappointed from the constant reports that judges say that they are ordering detentions and prison sentences under pressure from the US Embassy”.
The letter was also addressed to Justice Minister Renata Deskoska, Appeals Court Justice Lidija Dimcevska, the head of the Judicial Council Zoran Karadzovski and Supreme Court Chief Justice Jovo Vangelovski.
The US Embassy was heavily involved in the years long political crisis in Macedonia, which resulted with dozens of criminal charges filed by the newly created Special Prosecutors Office almost exclusively against VMRO-DPMNE officials, which paved the way for the SDSM party to take over the Government, while credible allegations of crimes and corruption against SDSM officials were dismissed. The issue was raised even by members of the US Senate and House of Representatives, who accused ambassador Baily of interfering in the political process in Macedonia. Meanwhile, SPO prosecutors and Criminal Court judges were permanent feature at US Embassy events and cocktails, while top Embassy officials bragged about “investing” tens of millions of dollars in the Macedonian judiciary.
Former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, who received political asylum in Hungary, said that he was under over pressure from the judiciary, with politically driven criminal cases, introduces solely to force him out of office and install a new Prime Minister who would be more open to renaming the country and getting it to join NATO.