DAILY BRIEF November 29 – new hearings, news from European Parliament, CIVIL activities…

The majority Members of the European Parliament, with the exception of several votes from Greece and Bulgaria, last night at the debate before the voting on the report on Macedonia, requested the start of negotiations for EU membership in June, but reminded that the country has to continue with the same pace of reforms.

Rapporteur Ivo Vajgl, and also other MEPs, reminded that not only Macedonia, but the European Union also needs to fulfil its promises in the European integration process. He, like many others, welcomed the Prespa Agreement and called for it to be completed in the Macedonian Parliament, and said that he believes that the negotiations with the EU will start in June 2019.

“An inclusive democratic atmosphere is required for this, everyone should cooperate, the judicial system needs to be modernized, the rule of law needs to be respected, space should be created for free media, in order to protect the journalists and to lead an efficient fight against corruption and organized crime”, said Vajgl.

European Commissioner Johannes Hahn outlined that the country has returned to its Euro-Atlantic path and welcomed the voted constitutional changes, calling them a brave move that he expects will continue without delay.

“It is important for the reform moment to deepen in the interest of the citizens”, stated Hahn, reminding of the three conditions written in the June conclusions of the Council of the EU – independent judiciary and fight against corruption, control of intelligence and security services and reform of the public administration, without which reforms there cannot be negotiations.

European Parliament adopts amendments for Gruevski’s extradition

Members of the European Parliament have adopted the amendments that demand from Hungary to extradite former prime minister Nikola Gruevski to Macedonia.

The groups of the Social Democrats and of the Greens, several days ago submitted separate amendments on this subject, but it was feared that the one from the Greens would not pass because of the harsher vocabulary.

The amendment filed by the MEP of the Greens, Judith Sargentini, in addition to requesting extradition, also states that Gruevski fled Macedonia with diplomatic assistance of Hungary in order to avoid a prison term, and finds this move as interfering in the internal affairs of Macedonia, and also as an act against the judiciary and the rule of law in the country.

“What Hungary is doing is interfering in the judicial affairs of a country that is trying very hard to improve and to become a member of the EU. And that is not constructive”, wrote yesterday Sargentini.

The Social Democrats filed two amendments regarding Gruevski’s asylum, both were adopted today. With these amendments, the European Parliament is letting know that Nikola Gruevski has received a “transparent judicial process” confirmed by several court instances and reminds that he is involved in additional five criminal investigations.

Mijalkov from prison brought to trial for “Treasury”

In the Criminal Court Skopje, the trial continues today for the case “Treasury” of the Special Public Prosecutor’s Office for the procurement of surveillance equipment, in which the former director of the UBK (Administration for Security and Counter-intelligence), Sasho Mijalkov, is accused. He was brought to the court room from the prison Shutka, where he is detained for the case “Empire”.

Apart from Mijalkov, in the case “Treasury”, his former chief of cabinet Toni Jakimovski is also accused, as well as the former deputy minister in the MOI, Nebojsa Stajkovik and the former chief of the fifth administration in the MOI, Goran Grujevski, who has fled and is in Thessaloniki.

Mijalkov’s defence demands his detention to be terminated, and claim that the detention is illegal. According to the lawyers, the measure has been brought without hearing the accused, which was contrary to the manner of leading the procedure.

Shekerinska will not testify for “April 27”

Minister of Defence, Radmila Shekerinska, will not be a witness at the trial for “April 27”. She was proposed by the defence of the accused Munir Pepic, employed in the MOI.

At today’s hearing, lawyer Elenko Milanov said that after an insight has been made in Shekerinska’s statement given before the Prosecution for prosecution of organized crime and corruption, they had determined that this statement is sufficient and by calling on the proposed witness at the hearing, there wouldn’t be additional things that would go to the benefit of the accused Pepic.

Court of Appeal terminates prison sentence for Tamara’s grandfather

Upon the complaint of the defence of Ljupco Stojanovski, the grandfather of little Tamara Dimovska from Veles, the Court decided to terminate the prison sentence of 7 and a half years, which was determined for the attempted murder on the former health minister Nikola Todorov. The Court of Appeal decided for the trial to start over again.

Stojanovski fired at Todorov directly before he handed over his duty to the new Minister, Arben Taravari, on June 1 last year.

CIVIL activities

CIVIL – Center for Freedom is continuing with preparations for CIVIL Fest.

On the occasion of the International Human Rights Day and the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, CIVIL is organizing CIVIL FEST, which will be held on December 10 and 11, at the Youth Cultural Center.

The Festival slogan is “Freedom, Justice, Equality” and is dedicated to citizen journalism and activism.

CIVIL – Center for Freedom today is again on the ground, this time in Kumanovo, where it organized a working meeting in the Municipality, dedicated to the fight against radicalism and violent extremism.

А. Petrovska

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