Police structures close to the SDSM party protected Ljupco Palevski for years, because his actions were in their political favor, said the opposition VMRO-DPMNE party. The controversial businessman and populist politician is charged with organizing the kidnapping and murder of 14 year old Vanja Gjorcevska, which shocked the country.

Through his podcasts and internet site, Palevski spread hatred and created a toxic atmosphere. The Government encouraged him to slander, to insult, to threaten people. And when he felt untouchable, he moved toward extortion and blackmail, leading up to this tragic murder, said VMRO-DPMNE, which was frequently the target of verbal attacks from Palevski, who courted the fringe nationalist vote while attacking VMRO of “not being patriotic enough” in his public appearances. It were precisely these attacks from Palevski, often spread through a well viewed news site devoted to attacking VMRO-DPMNE, that were apparently seen as useful by the Government, which would not allow Palevski to avoid punishment for various crimes.

The opposition party points out that in May, Palevski and a group of his supporters were found looking for hidden gold, and were armed. Even though a weapon was seized from him, he was not prosecuted. Palevski also had a pronounced pro-Russian angle to his comments, which also favored the Government, as it could point out to a “Russian threat” in the country that it is supposedly endangered by.

SDSM, on the other hand, responded by accusing VMRO-DPMNE of being in contact with Palevski. The ruling party accused VMRO leader Mickoski of meeting with Palevski on several occassions.