Dealing a death blow to a trial of the fugitive former prime minister, Nikola Gruevski, the main judge in the case codenamed TNT, Ognen Stavrev, on Monday said jury member Lijana Ivanovska Kockovska had resigned, rendering the entire process null and void.
Stavrev scheduled a new start for the trial on Tuesday, warning defence lawyers not to try to stall the case any further.
The former speaker of parliament in North Macedonia, Trajko Veljanoski, faces trial together with former transport minister Mile Janakieski, former education minister Spiro Risteski and former secret police chief Vladimir Atanasovski, after the Skopje Criminal Court on Thursday said it had accepted the charges pressed against them.
The Prime Minister and head of the main ruling Social Democratic Party, Zoran Zaev, and the head of the main opposition VMRO DPMNE party, Hristijan Mickoski, were expected to strike a final deal at the weekend on the formation of a so-called technical government in January, 100 days ahead of the April 12 early elections.
The high-profile trial in which former premier Nikola Gruevski is accused of ordering a political opponent's building to be demolished out of revenge may have to start all over again next year as the court failed to wrap it up by Tuesday before one of the judges retires, possibly rendering the entire process so far null and void.
The private national TV station 1TV ceased airing its signal on Wednesday, unofficially due to major financial problems that have piled up since its informal chief, Bojan Jovanovski, known by the stage name Boki 13, was arrested late in July.
The TV station's main entrance on Friday was padlocked and its frequency blank, although its web page stayed active.
Journalist Tomislav Kezarovski expressed unhappiness on Tuesday at the decision by the prosecution, saying that he had been denied the chance to overturn his conviction at a retrial.
"I want a chance to prove my innocence and be acquitted by the court," Kezarovski told a hearing in Skopje on Tuesday.
Unknown perpetrators in North Macedonia have removed or smashed plaques added to several statues and monuments in Skopje - which explained that they depict historical figures "belonging to the ancient Hellenic history and civilisation and to world cultural and historic heritage".
The action occurred just one day after the authorities put them up.