Prime Minister Zoran Zaev admitted he is concerned after the unprecedented public rebuke from US Ambassador Jess Baily, who sent letters to the main courts in the country informing them that judges must stop saying that they are ordering detentions and hefty prison sentences for former VMRO-DPMNE officials based on orders from his Embassy. Shortly after his letter, the Special Prosecutors Office agreed that some of the top political prisoners in the country like Mile Janakieski and Kiril Bozinovski should be released from detention.

– The letter cites that the US Ambassador is disappointed with the judges abusing his name during potential rigging of judicial decisions and sentencing. Will you, as Prime Minister, request an investigation into this and tell us which judges were abusing the authority of a foreign diplomat to rig judicial decisions?, asked VMRO-DPMNE member of Parliament Antonio Milososki, as Zaev was answering questions in the Parliament.

Zaev claimed that he first read about Baily’s letter in the press but acknowledged that he is concerned.

– This message should concern all of us. As I see it, the Embassy is calling on the courts not to use it as an excuse as they make their sentencing decisions. During the Przino agreement we were all told that it is imposed on us as a country by the US Embassy and the EU, but we all knew that we are making these decisions ourselves. I understand the message and nobody should use this excuse, that his actions are being driven by an Embassy. Now that this has been noted by the strategic friend of Macedonia, this is a strong enough signal that we take action and analyse the situation and what led to this letter being sent, said Zaev.

The Prime Minister added that he will wait for Ambassador Baily to return to the country after the Christmas break and then discuss this issue of meddling in the Macedonian judiciary with him.