Reactions to Latest Developments in TNT Case Continue

Commenting on the latest letters in the TNT case, the Criminal Court urged, in a press-release on Wednesday, relevant institutions (the Bar Chamber, the Interior Ministry, but also the Prosecutor’s Office) to take appropriate measures and investigate the elements of “threats and pressures” directed at the Court and the Lay Judge in order to protect the independence and impartiality in the Court’s actions. “It’s generally known that it is an obligation of a lay judge to occupy the position until they’re dismissed by the Judicial Council of the Republic of North Macedonia, which is in accordance with the Law on Courts,” the Court said. The same day, the Justice Ministry called for there to be no pressures and abuse, adding that laws had to be respected. Wednesday also saw the Council say it wouldn’t reschedule the session for the Lay Judge from 27 January to 10 January, as has been requested by lawyer Jovica Strashevski, who has announced criminal charges as well. The Council, too, described his statements and letters as threats. The Association of Judges, too, reacted, saying it “most fiercely condemns all attacks on the independence of the judiciary.” It, too, called on institutions to take concrete activities. Commenting on the situation, Strashevski urged the Court’s President, Ivan Dzolev, to participate in a televised debate with him over the case.