The La Verita newspaper published an article entitled “Sparks between Paris and Berlin over Skopje. The Chancellor is trying to save Zaev, adding that “With EU membership halted, the Macedonian prime minister is in trouble. New corruption investigation”.
Here’s the full text written by Laris Gaiser:
Blocking the opening of Macedonia’s EU negotiations during the last European Council, Macron undermined Merkel’s plans for the Balkans. Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, after a telephone conversation with Chancellor Merkel and other leaders, has decided not to feel guilty about the situation. At today’s meeting with President Stevo Pendarovski, he will call for early elections, with the modality to allow him not to resign and maneuver in the negotiations, excluding the opposition. But no capital already counts on Zaev. The latest blow to the prime minister’s future should come from the investigation, followed by us from the beginning, which sent Deputy Parliament Speaker Frosina Remenski, a close associate of Zaev, under house arrest several weeks ago. Remenski’s husband, who under Zaev’s baton became head of the anti-terrorism unit, was later entrusted with the task of setting up a new secret service – the NSA, with the sole purpose of hiring only people loyal to the prime minister, delegitimizing the UBK agency. As we have explained through the wiretaps we published during the summer, Remenski was the honorary president of the humanitarian International Association, through which the money that Boki 13 extorted were transferred was backed by a political-judicial top leadership. Remenski was detained in a case where Siljan Micevski, businessman in the construction sector, in November 2018 paid an old lady named Liljana Todorovska as much as € 750,000 for a brilliant idea she had for building retirement homes. When she received the money on her account, the lady was escorted to a bank by two representatives of the International Association, to whom she was supposed to give the full amount, and who then disappeared with the money. The father of Boki 13 and Jasna Mandic, Boki 13’s colleague, are under investigation in the case. From today’s perspective, Remenski’s detention is a significant amortization that Zaev is once again trying to escape from criminal responsibility. During La Verita research, we received confirmation in recent months that the Financial Intelligence Office – FIO, on suspicion of illegal conduct – froze the payment of 750,000 euros made in favor of Todorovska. Respecting legal procedures, the FIO duly informed the Organized Crime Prosecutor Vilma Ruskoska of the potential crime, who could have used her power to impose indefinite detention, ie to launch an investigation. However, according to the information we had, and then with the testimony of the prosecutor Naum Panovski, in front of the state public prosecutor Joveski, the next day Zaev personally ordered Ruskovska to unblock the money. Ruskovska, not an accidental favorite of Zaev to replace Katica Janeva – the special prosecutor currently in jail due to our revelations ordered the prosecutor in charge of the case to follow the instructions given by Zaev. Subsequently, no further investigative activity was deemed necessary and 750,000 euros were transferred to the recipient’s account within the next 48 hours. Such testimonies confirm the direct connection between Prime Minister Zaev and the extortion Boki 13, did, but mostly confirm the personal closeness between the two, which is also proved through Boki 13’s photos. Given the facts revealed by La Verita in August, Prosecutor Panovski, fighting with his own conscience, preferred to tell the facts he knows to the state prosecutor. The State Prosecutor’s Office, which was asked by Verita to comment on the information we have, remained completely silent. We have not yet received any answers to our questions.