North Macedonia’s Ex-PM Gruevski Indicted Over Illicit Property Purchases

North Macedonia's Organised Crime Prosecution on Wednesday filed charges against the country's fugitive former prime minister, Nikola Gruevski, and some of his former close associates, in a high-profile case linked to the illicit purchase of building sites.

The charges focus on the alleged purchase and concealment of the real ownership of three valuable building lots in the elite Skopje suburb of Vodno, another building site and two apartments. The charges also cover two building lots in the town of Krushevo.

The prosecution has called for the seizure of the real estate in question, which has an estimated total value of 1.5 million euros.

Gruevski is the first accused in a case concerning six persons. He is charged with money laundering and illegal acquisition of property, as well as concealing that he was its true owner.

His best man, Risto Novacevski, a well as businessmen Nenad Josifovic, Orce Kamcev and Kamcev's mother, Ratka Kamceva, are charged with money laundering; Gruevski's cousin, the former secret police chief Saso Mijalkov, is charged with aiding money laundering.

According to the charges, Gruevski used money drawn from donations made to the then ruling VMRO DPMNE party, which he then led, to purchase the properties, using an offshore company registered in Belize.

Gruevski allegedly obtained some 1.3 million euros between 2006 and 2012 which he used to buy the attractive sites.

The prosecution claims that after Gruevski learned in mid-2012 that a 11,000-square-metre plot was on sale in Vodno, he asked his cousin, Mijalkov, to help him buy it, and also hide that he was the real owner. Mijalkov, then head of the secret police, then included Nenad Josifovic in the scheme.

"The defendant S.M....

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