Two police officers were detained this afternoon, reportedly for acting as whistleblowers in the major new scandal involving the Zaev regime. Plusinfo reports that the detained officers are Aleksandar Janev – former head of the organized crime unit, and organized crime inspector Ilija Calsev Menis. The Interior Ministry later confirmed that not two but three unnamed police officials were interrogated in relation with violating secrecy laws.
They’re suspected of leaking a police report that revealed how Zoran Zaev’s brother Vice Zaev was extorting money from a coal mining company. The full extent of the scandal was revealed by the opposition VMRO-DPMNE party on Wednesday. Party leader Hristijan Mickoski met with journalists and shared the police report made after the questioning of Vasko Vasilev, director of the Bitola based Rubiton mining company which won portion of the major coal mining contract in the state run REK Bitola power plant. Vasilev testified before police officers how Vice Zaev began muscling him out of the business – initially demanding that he hands over the contract to a company linked to the Zaev family, and then asking for 250,000 EUR as a share of the contract. After Vasilev refused to pay, the contract was annulled by the SDSM party appointed director of REK Bitola and later a portion of the contract was awarded to the company Vice Zaev was pushing.
Mickoski revealed to the press that in the original testimony, Vasilev named Vice Zaev directly. But somebody in the Interior Ministry later scrubbed Vice’s name and replaced him with “Vice N.”, apparently hoping that the deliberate typo will be enough to obscure the Zaev family link to the scandal. The document which Mickoski shared with the press is likely confidential, and the officers who leaked it could be held responsible, but it is also evidence of serious wrong-doing on the part of the Government. Zaev’s SDSM party in the past insisted that police officers who leak such materials are protected as whistleblowers.