VMRO-DPMNE Secretary General Igor Janusev accused the Zaev Government of trying to hide the dissenting opinions from experts included in preparing the helicopter medevac program, which the oppositions says is suspicious and clearly corrupt.

Janusev said that at least two of the nine members of the committee that prepared the project refused to sign off on the proposal, and that their warnings and objections are now made classified to hide them from the public. The contract was won by the SARHEMS company, owned by Sasa Dzakovic, a Swedish citizen from Bosnia, which was founded days before the contract was publicly offered, clearly indicating that Dzakovic had prior knowledge on the Government’s side.

The dissenting opinions of the committee members are now classified so that the public won’t be able to see what they are warning about. In 15 years in the public administration, this is the first time I’ve seen such documents that relate to public procurement being made classified, especially the portion which relates to procedural matters, Janusev said at a press conference today.

The opposition party blames the Secretary General of the Zaev Government Dragi Raskovski of direct involvement in the scandal. Raskovski, who was also accused of a prior suspicious procurement of traffic control equipment worth over 7 million EUR, held a briefing yesterday during which he promised to make the feasibility study available to the public immediately. The study is still being withheld by the Government as of this moment.

Janusev also publicly called on Raskovski and the Government to explain if they have consulted the expert institutions in this field as to whether it is necessary to create a new helicopter evacuation service through public private partnership. “The same services such as rescue of hikers are provided by the helicopter unit of the Interior Ministry for free”, said Janusev.

The opposition party estimates that the project will be worth more than 70 million EUR over eight years – money which they fear will be “pumped out of the country”, given all the suspicious dealings around the creation of the company and the preparation of the public contract. SARHEMS would be allowed to collect money from highway tolls, which will likely be its main source of income.