North Macedonia: Zaev urges judges to quite politics and crime

North Macedonia: Zaev urges judges to quite politics and crime

A march under the slogan “Walk for Justice” was carried out Monday night by SDSM and its coalition parties, declaring that a new chapter on judicial reform opened after Parliament adopted 80 laws on Sunday in the Prosecutor’s Office. The march started in front of Parliament and ended in front of the complex of courts where the new law essentially needs to be implemented. The march was organized for the administration of justice and indirectly signaled the start of the election campaign with many entries.

SDSM President Zoran Zaev expressed his gratitude to the Members who voted for the Prosecutor’s Law, for their courage and determination to support reforms that guarantee an effective justice system, but also judicial decisions from all channels and procedures initiated by the Special Prosecutor’s Office.

Zoran Zaev, in an emotionally charged speech, reassured citizens that cases being investigated by the Special Prosecutor’s Office would be tried on the basis of law and transparent procedures. The defendants would be tried on the basis of evidence obtained through lengthy proceedings.

“Our people thirst for justice; fast, effective and fair justice. But what’s also important is that this law guarantees that politicians will not be able to elect and appoint prosecutors or decide the future of the cases. Not only are we moving towards justice, but we are moving rapidly towards the EU accession. We are creating yet another argument for our allies in the Union to secure the start of negotiations. We will show that we know that we can implement reforms that are important to citizens, important to the state, important for the European future”, Zaev said, stressing that it was now the European Union’s turn.

Zaev recalled that when SDSM took over the leadership of the institutions in 2017, they witnessed in practice what it meant to be a “captive state”; yet it was the rule of law which was tied up the most tightly.

“The remnants of the Svarovski judiciary, instead of seeking justice they raised barriers before it. They deliberately let the processes rot, the projects becoming obsolete to avoid resolution as much as possible. Do you know who were the only ones against the Prosecutor’s Law? Executive Mickoski, and his boss Gruevski and the entire VMRO-DPMNE leadership. Mickoski and VMRO-DPMNE only cared about granting amnesty to the refugee in Budapest. They failed!” Zaev stated.

A message has been sent to the judges, prosecutors and anyone else in the field of justice to seize this opportunity and become inspired, as North Macedonia must no longer be held hostage to the personal, criminal and party interests that apparently continue to hold the judiciary body hostage. The government and Parliament, Zaev noted, have done their best, and now it was up to the judges to be encouraged and bring justice.

“Citizens are looking for solutions in all cases! No cases have been tried for years. Those who keep petitions and verdicts hidden away must respond”, Zaev continued, stressing that politics should stay away from justice and the judicial process.

NSDP coalition member Sonja Mirakovska, who was a member of the working group that drafted the Prosecutor’s Office, also took the floor at last night’s rally. She emphasized that justice was not just a slogan; it was courage, efficiency, honesty, but above all a system.

“For three years we were reforming the system. A system full of gaps. A system that allowed human rights to be violated in cases and trials without evidence”, Mirakovska said.

She stressed that the aim was to create the new Prosecutor Law by consensus, but it was clear that VMRO-DPMNE did not intend to engage in real reforms, but simply wanted to protect crime.

Political activist Xhabir Deralla said the Assembly’s decision was a clear and unequivocal message to the judiciary, arguing that VMRO-DPMNE was only concerned with protecting crime and reviving the regime.

Deralla also sent a message to SDSM that the people understood the difficulties encountered in assuming the power to negotiate reforms that needed more support in Parliament, but their expectations were that they should move in the field of justice more boldly and faster.

“The Law on the Public Prosecutor’s Office will emit a new kind of energy for all”, Deralla concluded. /ibna