Macedonia Opposition: Transcripts Show 'Staggering' Interference in Courts

SDSM head Zoran Zaev holding Macedonian Constitution at the press conferrence | Photo by: Sinisa Jakov Marusic

Five conversations were published on Sunday at a press conference of the opposition Social Democratic Party, SDSM, involving discussions between top state officials, judges and a pro-government news editor about the appointment of judges as well as court cases and prosecutors' work.

The recordings provide a "clear example of direct breach of the executive power in the judiciary," the SDSM head, Zoran Zaev, told the press conference.

Last week, the opposition accused Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and the secret police chief, Saso Mijalkov, of eavesdropping on more than 20,000 people, and released what it said was the first batch of recordings in support of its allegation.

Zaev said that "all socially important people have been eavesdropped" and that the only people who were not recorded talking to each other were Nikola Gruevski and Saso Mijalkov.

The opposition said it would continue publishing more recordings that would unmask the real nature of Gruevski's regime.

The first of the five audio recordings published on Sunday is a conversation between what is alleged to be Police Minister Gordana Jankuloska and the former Justice Minister, Mihajlo Manevski.

In the conversation, Jankuloska urges Manevski to resolve a request by Lina Petrovska, a member in the Judicial Council, which appoints judges, by influencing a Supreme Court verdict involving her brother.

"She [Petrovska] is our ace. Without her, we cannot appoint and dismiss judges," a voice that the opposition identifies as Manevski's says.

The two later say that Petrovska would be rewarded also with an arranged job for her daughter.

Petrovska was appointed to the Judicial Council as member in October 2007. The SDSM and the Liberal...

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