Judicial Authorities React to Ambassador Woutsas’ Press Release

The Judicial Council announced that they will act upon the allegations of Austrian
Ambassador Georg Woutsas in relation to a dispute between a company from Austria and
two companies from North Macedonia, one of which owned by a cousin of former PM
Zoran Zaev. “In the notice we received in relation to this case, the Austrian Ambassador
voices dissatisfaction with how the Basic Public Prosecutor’s Office (BPPO) processed
the case in question. Having all details in mind, we decided to check the entire matter at
the Gevgelija Basic Court, where the case is being processed. Once our investigation is
complete, we shall prepare a report and proceed with further activities, if necessary,”
they state from the Judicial Council. From BPPO they claim that the case in question
between the two companies has been and is being processed in accordance with all
relevant laws and regulations. “The legal entity in question filed three criminal charges
for fraud at the Gevgelija-based BPPO, and the prosecutor, after processing all three
charges, concluded that there are no elements of the criminal act of fraud, but only
elements of civil-legal relation disputes, which have been processed by the International
Arbitration Court in Vienna. The case, after the plaintiff appealed to the decision, is now
processed by the Higher Public Prosecutor’s Office in Skopje, while recently, the plaintiff
filed another charge against the Macedonian company, this time for causing financial
damage, and criminal charges against unknown persons employed at the Real Estate
Cadastre Agency for malpractice. BPPO is processing the newly filed charges,” they
reported from BPPO. The Chamber of Notaries also reacted to this case, completely
denying the accusations levelled in Ambassador Woutsas’ press release. “Notaries are
officials with public authorisations given by the state, and in no way they can be included
in or influence disputes, especially of trade nature. From the details in the press release
we can conclude that not a single notary in the country ever verified a document which
violates any of the rights of the Austrian company in question,” they stated from the
Chamber of Notaries, adding they are ready to provide any information on notary
procedures to the Austrian Embassy if needed. In his press release, Ambassador Woutsas
criticises all judges, prosecutors, notaries and other legal workers involved in the case
and even demands their replacement, while former PM Zaev said he will press slander
charges against the Embassy.