Merko Trial: Hearing over Procurement of Vehicles by Municipality Postponed

At Monday’s hearing in the frames of the trial in which US-blacklisted Struga Mayor Ramiz Merko is charged with abuse of official position and authorisation in relation to the procurement of four vehicles, including an Audi worth around 70,000 dollars, for the needs of local authorities, the defence said the Struga Basic Court needed to reject the charge because the statute of limitations had expired.

Merko’s lawyer, Igor Petkovski, stated that the indictment proposal had been filed six years after the procurement even though the deadline had been five years. In his view, there was no need whatsoever for a court process to be started.

According to the charge, Merko procured the vehicles even though the Municipality had unsettled debts and a blocked giro account.

The Basic Public Prosecutor’s Office for Prosecution of Organised Crime and Corruption submitted the bill to the Criminal Court in Skopje in February.

However, as a result of the changes to the Criminal Code, the process was transferred to the Struga Basic Court. Judge Nadica Mitreska postponed the hearing for 2 September in order for the defence’s allegations about the expiration to be checked.

On the other hand, the Prosecutor’s Office’s representatives requested for the Court to reject part of the evidence as unclear, incomplete, and irrelevant.