Macedonia PM Accused of Bribery Over Bank Sale
Macedonia's opposition Social Democratic Party, SDSM, has accused Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski of selling Makedonska Banka AD to a controversial Serbian businessman, Jovica Stefanovic, known as “Gazda Nini” ["Boss Nini"] for a bribe.
The sale was transacted “through four off-shore and two local companies that were in possession of 51 per cent of the bank’s shares and were under Gruevski’s control”, the SDSM head, Zoran Zaev, claimed on Wednesday.
In January 2004, Nini paid more than €900,000 to the companies' accounts and made an additional payment of €1.5 million directly to Gruevski, Zaev alleged.
Gruevski who became Prime Minister in 2006 after his VMRO DPMNE party won a general election denied the accusations and said he would file slander charges against Zaev.
Presenting documents of financial transactions as well as legal papers from Macedonia’s Central Bank that approved the sale of the bank’s shares, the SDSM said they contained clear evidence of wrongdoing.
Documents reveal that a total sum of some €900,000 were paid to the accounts of “Sabiko Limited England”, “Archway Engineering Limited England”, “Natural Planet Limited England” and “Silver Universe Limited England” as well as to two companies from Skopje.
“Within a period of four months, most of this money had been withdrawn in cash under Nikola Gruevski’s warrant, for which we also have evidence,” Zaev said.
Zaev said that apart from this sum, which according to the documents was approved by the then bank governor, Ljube Trpeski, Gruevski and Nini arranged for an additional sum of €1.5 million to be “paid illegally in cash directly to Gruevski”.
By combining the official and...