Government adopts SPO draft-law

The Government adopted on Tuesday the new draft-law concerning the Special Prosecutor’s Office (SPO). Now, the process will move to Parliament. PM Zoran Zaev expects parliamentarians, too, to unite. In the coming period, as he announced, there will be negotiations with all smaller and bigger opposition parties. For now, VMRO-DPMNE’s parliamentary group doesn’t have a concrete stand on whether it will support the document because it still hasn’t seen the content. The opposition party urged a leaders’ meeting aiming at a solution to all open issues, including the SPO’s future. MPs from both SDSM and DUI said they would support the draft-law. BESA said that it was disappointed by the SPO’s selective work. However, Bilall Kasami’s party added that there had to be an organ prosecuting high corruption. According to the draft-law, the SPO’s status will be permanently resolved as a special department within the frameworks of the Public Prosecutor’s Office. SPO members will also have jurisdiction also over investigations opened after the expiration of the 30 June 2017 deadline, too, but also over other crimes, including ones against elections, frauds, money laundering and unlawful influence. The SPO will be able to use the wire-tapped materials as evidence until 15 September next year. All remaining materials will be destroyed one year after the court cases’ end. The materials will not be used as evidence in investigations that the SPO opened after the legal deadline, such as Empire and Thaler, against high VMRO-DPMNE officials, but also in the Census and Patient cases, in which DUI leader Ali Ahmeti and the Deputy PM for European Affairs and member of Ahmeti’s party, Bujar Osmani, are covered.