During the hearing in one of the cases initiated by Special Prosecutor Katica Janeva today, the judge repeatedly refused requests from the defense to question the witness of the prosecution. In the trial, politically connected businessman Fijat Canoski alleges that officials from the previous, VMRO-DPMNE led Government, vindictively demolished the large residential complex he was building in Skopje.

The witness today was Kanija Ajdinovski, who managed the construction site, where numerous irregularities were found that led municipal authorities to order its demolition. Judge Ognen Stavrev would repeatedly accept prosecution objections when the defense wanted to cross-examine the witness, as defense attorneys sought to point out to the irregularities in the building of the residential complex.

A year ago, judge Stavrev insisted to complete the trial before the start of 2020, but failed to do so because of procedural problems.

His insistence led the defense to allege that the entire trial is a huge operation to take money from the public budget and divide it between the developer Canoski, corrupt prosecutors and politicians from the ruling SDSM party which is protecting Canoski as he currently rebuilds the complex. The allegations stem from the revelation that a businessman close to Canoski was giving money to proxies of prosecutor Katica Janeva – indicating that the trial was began by the now thoroughly disgraced former prosecutor to secure a major compensation from the budget to Canoski.