The wiretapping scandal has put the judicial system in FYROM in front of a test

The wiretapping scandal has put the judicial system in FYROM in front of a test

IBNA Special Report

Skopje, March 23, 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Naser Pajaziti

The wiretapping scandal in FYR Macedonia has ruined the credibility of the judicial system and the confidence that citizens have in the institutions of justice.

Tens of registered telephone calls published in the recent months by the Macedonian opposition have revealed conversations between the prime minister, ministers, the head of secret services with chief judges, prosecutors, judges in order to discuss court rulings demanded by the government. The conversations also revealed the implication of judges in election fraud and other outrageous acts.

Other conversations have also been published revealing how the two parties in power VMRO-DPMNE and BDI (Democratic Union for Integration) decide on the appointment of chief judges, prosecutors, the election of new judges and prosecutors, etc.

All of these anti-constitutional actions have sparked strong reactions and have ruined the judicial system in the country. The Macedonian opposition demands the overcoming of the institutional crisis, through massive resignations in the justice system, starting from general attorney Marko Zvrlevski and judges appointed based on political influences and then start a transparent inquiry process.

Opposition leader, Zoran Zaev says that prime minister Nikola Gruevski and head of secret services completely control the judicial system and have created a parallel justice system which is under their control.

“Their conversations present an outrageous reality. There’s no judicial system, no police, no system. Everything has been orchestrated by Gruevski’s family and his entourage.  Orchestrated processes, court rulings ordered by government people, appointments and removals of judges”, declared Zaev.

According to him, this situation may be overcome by forming an interim government, whose priority will be to remove political influences from the justice system and the involvement of a team of international experts to oversee a fair and transparent inquiry of the wiretapping scandal.

But some of the opposition political parties also demand the creation of a special tribunal and the appointment of a foreign prosecutor with the scope of reforming the judicial system.

“Under these circumstances, there must be immediate intervention for the appointment of a special court and a foreign prosecutors, because this is the only way to solve this situation within the legal framework with concrete results”, declared for IBNA, Izet Zeqiri from opposition party RDK (National Democratic Renaissance).

Law experts say that under these circumstances, there’s a need for the full reformation of the judicial system.

Mirjana Najcevska, expert of legal and political affairs says that state institutions must be freed from political influence.

“We’re in front of a difficult situation and it’s normal that nobody believes on a fair verdict because everyone saw how judges are appointed and how decisions are taken. I believe that a government of experts must be appointed in order to cleanse state institutions from politically influenced people and then hold fair inquiries. But, caution must also be shown with the new selection, because we may have cases of people who may violate principles and avenge for what was done to them in the past”, declared for IBNA, Mirjana Najcevska, former head of the Helsinki Committee for human rights and liberties in FYROM.

Head of the Ombudsman Office, Ixhet Memeti says that the registered conversations that have been published do not only show the political influence exerted on the judicial system, but also the ruining of the justice system.

“I believe that here we not only have to do with a politicization of the judicial system, but with a destruction of the justice system. These conversations that are being published are seriously damaging credibility, up to that extent that it will be difficult to restore trust. For the improvement of this situation there must be drastic reforms in order for court and prosecution to convince the citizens of working in line with the laws and constitution”, declared Ombudsman, Ixhet Memeti.

Part of these debates is also the minister of Justice, Adnan Jashari.

“If the conversations published by the opposition and which relate to the intervention in the work of the judicial system are proved, the government must remove the general attorney and it must also seek information on other judges and prosecutors who may result involved”, declared Jashari.

A similar stance has also been taken by government authorities and the two parties in power VMRO-DPMNE and BDI, who demand a transparent inquiry without political influences in relation to the wiretapping scandal and massive abuses of power and also the other so called “Putsch” affair, where the Macedonian opposition leader Zoran Zaev is accused for cooperation with foreign secret services. /ibna/