With Saso Mijalkov’s return to Macedonia and into house arrest, the next event in the saga is expected on Friday, when the Skopje court will render a verdict in the first instance. Mijalkov is accused of ordering massive abuse of the wiretapping system operated by the UBK security service which he between 2006 and 2015.

Mijalkov was able to negotiate his freedom with the Zaev regime for years, providing extensive political services to Zaev in the process.

Prosecutors have asked for 13 years in prison, and his escape indicated that he had expected a very strict sentence. On the other hand, speculations are widespread that if Mijalkov receives five years or less, it will indicate that a deal was reached between him and the regime. This will allow Mijalkov to remain free, protract the serving of the sentence while he goes before the Appeals Court, and eventually the Supreme Court. If the process is extended enough, and with house arrest included, he could even serve out a sentence without seeing the inside of a prison cell.

The sentencing is on Friday, and the eyes of the public – the portion of the public which has not tuned out of the entire years long drama – are on the verdict.