Hearing over TNT Case postponed, Defendant Trajkovski assaulted

Former Gazi Baba Mayor Toni Trajkovski did not show up in the Criminal Court on Monday for the hearing over the TNT case, with his lawyer Jovica Strasevski reporting that he has been physically assaulted and injured the previous day. As Strasevski reports, Trajkovski has been assaulted by two unknown attackers in the settlement of Zelezara, Skopje, on the evening of 22 December. The Judge processing the case Ognen Stavrev called for a recess of one hour, during which he spoke to the doctor who has attended to Trajkovski’s injuries, who told him that Trajkovski is not in life-threatening condition and that he can attend the hearings without problems. Judge Stavrev finally postponed the hearing for Tuesday, warning the lawyer of Trajkovski that if the defendant does not show up in court on Tuesday, he will be arrested and taken to the court by the police. On the other hand, Strasevski claimed that Trajkovski has been seriously injured and must rest in bed at least 7 days. In this case, processed by the Special Public Prosecutor’s Office (SPO), Trajkovski, as well as former PM Nikola Gruevski and former Transport Minister Mile Janakieski are charged with abuse of official position and political revanchism in the process of demolition of the “Cosmos” object constructed by businessman Fijat Canoski. Judge Stavrev insist on closing the case sooner, because one of the judges that is member of the council processing this case is about to be retired, and this may result with complete restart of the case. The Criminal Court has submitted a request to the Judicial Council of Macedonia for temporary prolongation of the mandate of the judge in question, but the Judicial Council rejected the request. In meantime, VMRO-DPMNE accused the ruling party SDSM for being responsible for the physical assault over Trajkovski. “After prosecution and revanchism with political opponents through court cases, the government of SDSM now conforms to brutal and uncivilised measures like direct physical assaults over their political opponents. VMRO-DPMNE condemns the incident, and hopes that the employees in the Interior Ministry will professionally process this case and punish the attackers,” said Orce Gjorgievski from VMRO-DPMNE at a press conference.