Car Fire Sparks Political Accusations and Reactions

Developments related to an Audi car fire in Skopje have sparked numerous political reactions. The car is linked to First Deputy PM Artan Grubi. Albanian-language media said Saturday the vehicle was used personally by him, but sources told Sitel that Grubi’s name was not mentioned anywhere in the documents concerning the vehicle. A Bekir Limani is the owner of the vehicle. That matches the initials included in the Interior Ministry’s press-release.

“Today, it was reported to the Skopje Internal Affairs Sector that at around 3:30 am, on Strumicka Street, there was a fire in an Audi passenger vehicle with Skopje licence plates, owned and parked by 35-year-old B.L. from Skopje. The fire has been put out, nobody was injured. A Skopje Internal Affairs Sector team conducted insight,” police said. The Audi is not included in the declaration of assets submitted by Grubi to the State Commission for Prevention of Corruption. According to that document, Grubi has only one vehicle, a Citroen Xsara, made in 2001.

On social media, Grubi described the fire as an attack on him. Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani, a fellow DUI member, said he was revolted by the fire. VMRO-DPMNE, however, called for a procedure to be opened against Grubi over “concealment of assets, potential tax evasion, and abuse of position”.