North Macedonia's fugitive former prime minister Nikola Gruevski could face a fresh money laundering probe following reports that he used money transferred from his home country to start new business ventures in Hungary, the former prosecutor of the now defunct North Macedonia's Special Prosecution, SJO, Lence Ristovka, said.
The Criminal Court in Skopje on Monday in a first instance verdict sentenced former speaker of parliament Trajko Veljanoski to six years and six months in jail and former transport and former labour ministers, Mile Janakieski and Spiro Ristovski, to six years and three months in jail each.
The former head of the secret police, Vladimir Atanasovski, was jailed for six years .
Marred by controversy from the start, partly because of its steep price, and partly for its dubious artistic choice, drawing inspiration from Classical antiquity, the brainchild project of former PM Nikola Gruevski was originally promoted as giving a brand-new look to the shabby-looking City of Skopje.
Zaev's ascent to power can be traced to his starring role in lifting the lid on the corruption, meddling and abuse of power that had become widespread in Gruevski's regime, when the Social Democrat leader began feeding intelligence service wiretaps to the media in a series of sensational press conferences in 2015.
The Interior Ministry said on Tuesday that at least nine police officers have been arrested so far on suspicion of being part of a group that issued false passports and identity documents to foreign citizens.
"The operation is ongoing and we will have more info once it wraps up, later today or tomorrow," a high-ranking official in the Interior Ministry told BIRN.