VMRO-DPMNE member of Parliament Antonio Milososki called for an investigation into the actions of judge Ognen Stavrev, who was openly trying to expedite the TNT trial toward paying a huge settlement to controversial businessman Fijat Canoski.
Stavrev’s attempts appeared defeated this Monday, as he was forced to acknowledge that any verdict he reaches, with the current judicial panel he had behind him, would be overturned on appeal. One of the panel judges reached the mandatory retirement age and this provoked a re-trial. To fight this deadline, Stavrev ordered 12 hour long hearings, even after one of the defendants was savagely attacked and required hospital treatment.
The violations of judicial procedures are the fault of judge Ognen Stavrev. He had authority to ask for the President of the Court Ivan Dzolev to give him replacement panel judges, considering the advanced age of one of them. Stavrev must have expected that this trial will take a long time, and he managed the trial poorly, Milososki said.
Milososki called on the Judicial Council to investigate the actions of judge Stavrev, who is considered as one of the most outspoken supporters of the Zaev regime in the Skopje courthouse. The case had a political dimension, as it was one of the many attacks on former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski by disgraced Special Prosecutor Katica Janeva, but also very likely had a lucrative element. Canoski was suspected of indirectly paying a bribe of over 200.000 EUR to Janeva, which likely contributed her decision to initiate the case, and could lead to Canoski receiving a stupendous sum of 40 million EUR in damages from the state – twice the estimated sum that Janeva and her accomplices are suspected of extorting from various businessmen over the course of her term in office.