SPO Opens Six New High-Level Crime Cases

The Special Prosecutor’s Office (SPO), tasked with investigating high-level crimes, said Wednesday that it has opened six new investigations. They probe allegations involving financial damage to the national budget estimated at nearly €80 million. Each investigation has its codename, namely Gift, Propaganda, Design, Harmony, Base Stations and Patient. Former finance minister Zoran Stavreski and former transport minister Mile Janakieski and the director of the company Macedonian Energy Resources are suspects in the ‘Gift’ case. As regards the ‘Propaganda’ case, the order for opening of investigation covers nine people, including ex-prime minister Nikola Gruevski and Kiril Bozinovski, former secretary general of the Nikola Gruevski-led government. The ‘Design’ case involves an investigation into four people for abuse of office in 2009 and 2010. The suspects, including former transport minister Mile Janakieski, are believed to have favoured a foreign company in the procedure for concluding a deal to procure 202 double-decker buses in Skopje. Three men are the focus of the investigation dubbed ‘Harmony’ for a suspected abuse of office. Namely, the suspects Nikola Gruevski, Mile Janakieski and Stevco Jakimovski, ex-municipal mayor in Skopje, in 2012 allegedly misappropriated funds in amount of €385,868 to allow the Private International Balkan University Skopje to buy two construction lands in Skopje at unrealistically low prices. Furthermore, the ‘Base Station’ case revolves around one suspect for abuse of office. The investigation codenamed ‘Patient’ consists of allegations for abuse of office by 15 people, including a former health minister.