The newly appointed head of the Judicial Council Kiro Zdravev announced that he is going after several Supreme Court justices he blames for the 2017 decision not to detain businessman Seat Kocan.
Kocan, a construction business owner who also ran a TV station, was charged in one of the Special Prosecutor’s cases, aimed at supporters of the conservative VMRO-DPMNE party. The case, alleging improper application in a public coal mining contract, was used to influence both his Nova TV station and the best watched Sitel TV station in the country.
Kocan briefly fled the country, citing serious heart issues. He eventually returned and was sentenced to six years in prison. His TV station was closed under pressure from the Zaev regime, and the case was also used to pressure two VMRO aligned members of Parliament to switch sides and join Zaev. One of them, a Kocan ally, switched sides and joined Zaev, after which Kocan’s sentence was reduced below five years in prison, allowing him to seek future legal protection down the road.
Now, judge Zdravev announced that he will investigate the three Supreme Court justices who ended Kocan’s detention in 2017. Zdravev refused to say which judges are under investigation, but it is widely assumed that it will include chief Supreme Court justice Jovo Vangelovski, whose removal would further increase the Government’s stranglehold over the judiciary.