There were chaotic scenes at Skopje's Appeals Court on Thursday, with the defendants shouting that they do not recognise the court, at the start of a hearing to decide on whether to hold a retrial of 33 ethnic Albanians who were convicted of involvement in a deadly two-day shootout in the town of Kumanovo in May 2015.
The harsh sentence drew strong criticism from international human rights organisations, media unions and NGOs. After his release from prison, he spent another eight months under arrest.
His book about his experiences, Life in the Box, was first published in Macedonian in 2017 - the year Gruevski was toppled from power.
Meanwhile, the main problem blocking progress has been solved - 'North Macedonia' has become a reality. Or has it?
North Macedonia ex-prime minister Nikola Gruevski arrives in the court in Skopje, 2018. Photo: EPA-EFE/GEORGI LICOVSKI
This Sunday will see the first round of presidential elections.
I first visited Skopje in 1997 to attend a peace concert by Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis. It had all the elements to become a charming city with a strong modernist identity, expanding on the reconstruction that was carried out with the help of Greek architect Constantinos Doxiadis after the devastating earthquake in 1963.