This part of the widening probe into corruption is known as Talir, named after a centuries-old silver coin. The Skopje Criminal Court, acting on a request from the office of the special prosecutor, froze the 69 properties on Oct. At the time of the purchases, which included fields, pastures, apartment buildings, and private houses, such party ownership was forbidden under Macedonian law. The company was paid more than 200 million euros for its work on that project. So far, prosecutors have questioned more than 500 witnesses and collected 11,000—12,000 records of donations to the party treasury. Prosecutors said they believe Gruevski knew the party was violating the rules as far back as 2009, but authorized the funding scheme to strengthen both the party and his control over it.
David Ilieski contributed to this story. Gruevski Gone; Party Says Prosecutions Are Politically Motivated on Nov. Macedonian officials are calling for his return. The questionable land deals and allegations that party officials ran an extortion and money laundering scheme came to light as part of a that Special Prosecutor Katica Janeva and her colleagues have been pursuing for more than a year and a half. Initially, she assisted account managers and supported the operation processes, but due to her great communication skills and enthusiasm, she soon became strongly involved in sales activities. White Palace Construction Deal Questioned The second indictment charged Gruevski and Bozinovski with irregularities in the construction of the White Palace, which was completed in 2015. Gruevski was supposed to begin a two-year prison sentence following his conviction in May for putting pressure on then-Interior Minister Gordana Jankuloska to get her office to buy a 580,000-euro Mercedes for his personal use.
The freeze means that the party cannot sell or mortgage the White Palace or other properties. Party officials then used illegally obtained funds to buy the questionable real estate. The Hungarian interior ministry reported that the. The allegations are part of charging party officials — including former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, who fled to Hungary in November — with money laundering and abuse of their official positions. This report marks the first time the detailed property list has been published.
Janeva was appointed special prosecutor by Macedonian lawmakers in 2015 after pressure from the European Union. Information from the wiretapped conversations has helped prosecutors bring indictments for a wide range of questionable deals in areas including real estate and government contracting. Unless the properties have a direct link to party functions, such ownership would have been illegal at the time the real estate was acquired. . Prosecutors have not disclosed who, if anyone, used the real estate. The prosecutor alleged that the party illegally collected at least 4. Macedonian law bars companies from contracting with or making donations to political parties if they participated in a major public works project, as Beton had.
In 2017, she was promoted to the position of account manager. The indictments, issued on Nov. Gruevski also faces charges in four other corruption cases, and is under investigation in two more, the prosecutors have said. After president Gjorge Ivanov halted probes into more than 50 public figures embroiled in a including Nikola Gruevski , protesters took to streets in Skopje and other cities in the summer of 2016 in support of the special prosecutor, who had been working on the case. The party paid only 815,323 euros for a building that is now valued at 14 million euros, meaning it could reap a huge profit if sold.
Prosecutors have also examined thousands of documents from municipalities, the official real estate list maintained by the government, and private firms and banks. . . . . . .
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