Ahead of the large anti-corruption protest planned for this afternoon, VMRO-DPMNE member of Parliament Antonio Milososki evoked one of the worst abuses of the Zaev regime as a reason why citizens should turn out in large numbers. Milososki reminded the public of the emotional and ultimately hugely manipulative scandal that SDSM and Zoran Zaev built over the killing of 22 year old Martin Neskovski in 2011.

The boy was killed by a police officer after an altercation one the eve of the early general elections, while a large crowd of people were celebrating VMRO’s victory on the Macedonia square. Because the family reported the boy missing a day late, and due to the large crowd and attempts by the police officer Igor Spasov to cover up the incident, it took several days to identify the body and the killer. SDSM and far left groups aligned with the party used the confusion to spread a conspiracy theory that the VMRO leadership ordered the killing of the boy for some reason, and staged mass protests. In 2015, the protests were renewed after SDSM published a heavily edited audio recording of a conversation between then Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and Interior Minister Gordana Jankuloska.

Despite abusing the case for political gains, SDSM went easy on officer Spasov. Zaev had a cordial meeting with him in prison, lent him his private lawyer, and shortly after SDSM grabbed power in 2017 he was released from prison to seek medical treatment. In the end Spasov fled the country, presumably for the Netherlands.

Did Zaev forget about the death of Martin Neskovski? Why is he so reluctant to remember this injustice? Is it because the killer was allowed an easy escape so soon after meeting with Zaev? For Zaev, justice means that killers can be released when it becomes politically convenient, Milososki said.

VMRO-DPMNE will stage a protest in front of the Justice Ministry this afternoon, with a march down to the main Skopje courthouse, where many of the politically motivated trials initiated by the Zaev regime take place.