WIRETAPPING #34: GRUEVSKI’S INSTRUCTIONS TO HIS MINISTERS ABOUT ILLEGAL ACTIONS

The 34th set of wiretapped phone calls was released today by the opposition, the Social Democrats SDSM. The conversations revealed fraudulent businesses between the government and private companies. The public heard the Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski teaching and instructing the now former Minister of Transport Mile Janakieski how to be more ‘deal oriented’ and not dismiss companies based on mere facts of the law. Instead, he should be more indulging and take his time to treat well large-scale businessmen in order to achieve a good deal. As the opposition leader Zoran Zaev explained, one of the companies mentioned in the conversations is a Czech-Bulgarian-Macedonian company that won a tender based on the Prime Minister’s favoritism. On another occasion, Gruevski is instructing Janakieski how to go about the land where one of Skopje’s theaters is located. Even though, Minister Janakieski tries to explain the legal implications of indulging Gruevski’s wishes, he does not succeed to defend his position. Another set of conversations focused on a company where the inspecting authorities discovered five tons of illegal red oil. The reason why the company was not fined is that its owner was a financial supporter of the right-wing ruling party VMRO-DPMNE. The last topic of today’s conversations was, as Zoran Zaev explained, about Maja Ivanova, the wife of current Macedonian President Gjorgje Ivanov, who also works as an advisor for the Agency for Civil Aviation. In this case, Prime Minister Gruevski is instructing at the time Minister of Internal Affairs Gordana Jankulovska to ‘make a letter disappear’ from the official archives of the police. The letter is allegedly written by the director of the Agency for Civil Aviation where he expressed complaint about Mrs. Ivanova. Both Gruevski and Jankulovska are laughing and joking about the content of the letter and the whole situation.

Quotes:

  • Prime Minister Gruevski to Minister of Transport instructing him to make better deals with companies: “As a government we are not doing well [with business] with big companies”.
  • Gruevski to Jankulovska: “Now, there is one tiny detail that is important you do. Somehow make the original letter disappear from the archives, keep it with you”.

Audio

Advertisements

WIRETAPPING #33: SECRET NEGOTIATIONS ABOUT A POSSIBLE NAME CHANGE OF REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA

The opposition Social Democrats (SDSM) today released another set of wiretapped conversations. In the audio released one could hear how government officials from the current Macedonian right wing ruling party VMRO-DPMNE secretly negotiate about a possible change of the official name of the country Republic of Macedonia in order to end the 24 years long name dispute with Greece. This goes contrary to the current government‘s official stance on the issue. VMRO-DPMNE claimed that they will never secretly bargain about the name change of the country.
The new set of wiretapped conversations reveals how the Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski talks to then appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs Antonio Miloshevski about the secret negotiations between a Macedonian delegation led by his cousin and chief of the Secret Police Sasho Mijalkov and a secret Greek delegation led by Emanuel Malezis Manoli, a former director of the Greek refinery OKTA in Macedonia. In the audio one could hear how Gruevski, in the presence of Mijalkov, informs Miloshevski about the current stage of negotiations and asks him for an advice on how he sees the name could change through these secret negotiations in order to achieve compromise with Greece. Miloshevski suggests that Gruevski advices Mijalkov to propose to the Greek secret delegation a name that would start with a political reference regarding the country, such as “Independent” or “Sovereign” and end with a geographical reference in brackets. The names “Independent Republic of Macedonia (Upper)” and “Independent Republic of Macedonia (Vardar)” are among the most commonly used in the discussion. Gruevski approves of these ideas in the phone conversation even though he acknowledges that the people of Macedonia would struggle accepting it in a referendum considering that it is not much better than the current name of Republic of Macedonia used in the United Nations which is “Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”. Both Miloshevski and Gruevski, according the audio of the wiretapped conversations believe that the alternatives they consider are better than “Upper Republic of Macedonia” or “Northern Republic of Macedonia”.

Quotes:

Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski to the former Minister of Foreign Affairs Antonio Miloshevski: “Hey, I am here with the person [Sasho Mijalkov] that goes to [secretly] negotiate …”

Miloshevski to Gruevski: “If I were to choose a name between “Vardar Republic of Macedonia” and “Upper Republic of Macedonia” as one of the possible choices [way of think about it], without brackets or without anything else, or “Independent Republic of Macedonia (Vardar)” or “Independent Republic of Macedonia (Upper)” [as another choice], I would choose the option with the brackets.”

Here is the audio

WIRETAPPING #32: ELECTION DAY VIOLENCE AND ETHNIC HATRED

The leading opposition party in Macedonia released the 32nd set of audio recordings that further incriminate high-ranking government officials. Mainly, the conversations were around violent supporters of the ruling right wing VMRO-DPMNE  that are protected and controlled directly by the chief of secret police and the racism expressed against the Albanian ethnic population by VMRO-DPMNE top officials. The public heard conversations between now former Minister of Internal Affairs, Gordana Jankulovska and now former chief of secret police, Saso Mijalkov discussing one of their men threatening people on election day. Jankulovska mentioned that the foreign observers OSCE complained about his behavior since he pulled out a gun and pointed it to a person’s head. In several other conversations, Jankulovska is expressing frustration against the Albanian population in Macedonia and talks about ‘solving the issue’. Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski was also heard plotting about some small parcel in the center of the city and planning to erect another baroque building. His only concern is whether they will lose their voters because of this plan. Jankulovska and Mijalkov are heard making plans about retaliation against a policeman who supposedly appeared on a protest for Ljube Boskoski.

Quotes:

  • PM Gruevski to former Minister of Transport Janakieski about the people living in the center of Skopje where Gruevski wants to build another baroque building: “Check this and tell me next week. If they voted for SDSM, fuck them. We will lose their votes anyway, they won’t vote for us so let’s do this”.
  • PM’s Chief of Staff Martin Protuger to Jankulovska talking about editor in chief Dragan Pavlovic Latas, one of the main pro-government supporters in the media: “…around ten people should be killed in this country so that it’s proper…”
  • Protuger to Jankulovska about the Albanian population in Macedonia: “How about making a war?”, Jankulovska: “If it’s about showing who is stronger, we will crash them in an hour… But the thing is, we should not show our muscles now”.

Audio link

WIRETAPPING #31: MACEDONIAN POLICE BUYS A 600 000 EURO MERCEDES FOR THE PRIME MINISTER

Twenty-seven new telephone conversations were heard today by the public during the press conference organized by the Social Democrats (SDSM). More intrigues and illegal deals were discussed between different government officials and other persons. Often, the conversants used code to talk about various things, however, one could largely understand what the issue was and the opposition leader Zaev also gave a context and explanation before each set of conversations. We could hear how Musa Xhaferi, Deputy Prime Minister for the implementation of the Ohrid Framework Agreement and the chief of the secret police, Saso Mijalkov are discussing some arrangements around a tender. Another topic in today’s audios was about a tender deal between the right-wing ruling party VMRO-DPMNE and the General Manager of ELEM – Macedonian Power plants, Vlatko Cingoski. From the conversations between him and the General Secretary of Government, Kiril Bozinovski, a deal is being made behind closed doors, with the Prime Minister giving instructions about this. Another thing that the Macedonian public heard was the Minister of Health, Nikola Todorov, complaining to, now former, Minister of Internal Affairs, Gordana Jankulovska, that a costly hospital being built in Ohrid may need to be torn down due to improper construction. The editor-in-chief of one of the most pro-government media, Dragan Pavlovic-Latas was discussing with the General Secretary ways how to issue invoices, allegedly to cover for the gap of spent funds duing the 2011 election campaign for VMRO-DPMNE. Finally, the Macedonian public heard conversations between the Prime Minister and Jankuloska making an arrangement about buying a 600,000 euro Mercedes. It was clearly stated in the conversations that the purchase will go through the Ministry of Internal Affairs and reported as their vehicle, but in fact, it will be used by Gruevski when not many journalists are around to see the expensive car.

Quotes:

Prime Minister Gruevski to Jankulovska when arranging the buying of the Mercedes:
“We won’t report to the local authorities that we are taking over the vehicle but we will act as if it belongs to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and that you will be using it when someone famous comes to visit, and actually we will use it only when I travel somewhere or when no reporters are waiting for me…”
Jankulovska to secret police chief Mijalkov:
“The Mercedes car saloon said that they had not sold such a car in the whole of South-Eastern Europe.
Todorov to Jankulovska:
“…the situation here is much more complicated. There are annexes made with pumped up prices, for example, a light bulb costs 20 000, but it says 70 000, and plus, instead of 10, we list a need of 20 or 30. So the amount and the price are increased…”

WIRETAPPING #30 NIKOLA MLADENOV CASE

The audio recordings released by the Social Democrats (SDSM) revealed conversation between the Minister of Interior, Gordana Jankuloska, The Prime Minister Chief of Staff Martin Protugjer, the spokesperson of the Minister of Interior Ivo Kotevski and Vlatko Mijalkov, brother of the Chief of Secret Police, Sasho Mijalkov. They discuss the car accident of Nikola Mladenov, a Macedonian journalist who died in 2013.

The conversations revealed that the investigation lacked professionalism, as allegedly stated by the spokesperson Kotevski, the investigative judge was new and lacked experience to handle such cases.

According to conversation between Jankulovska and Kotevski, paint from another vehicle was found at the back of the car, but the investigation could not reveal whether that was there before the accident happened. Kotevski says that some of this information should not to be presented in the public because that might cause further confusion.

According to Jankulovska, the public does not need to know why the cameras on the pay tolls did not work, and she states that that is not their business. Furthermore, the conversations revealed that the body was found by the mobile phone signal, and that the trajectory of the car has been traced by the GPS but according Zaev this is an evidence that the official investigation does not want to reveal why the mobile phone was not found if the body was been identified by the signal.

Other documents were presented by the Social Democrats, stipulating that the investigation was not done thoroughly, that evidence was not obtained properly from the accident and that there has to be another independent investigation that will reveal what actually happened with Nikola Mladenov.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRWm_31Omk8

WIRETAPPING #28 MARTIN NESHKOSKI MURDER CASE

The last audio recordings released by the Social Democrats (SDSM) revealed alleged conversations between several Government officials: The Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski with the Minister of Internal Affairs, Gordana Jankulovska, The Chief of the Secret Police Sasho Mijalkov, the Chief of the Prime Minister cabinet Martin Protugjer and Ivo Kotevski, the Public Relations Assistant of the Minister of Internal Affairs.

The conversations revealed the investigation process related to the murder of Martin Neshkovski, a supporter of the right wing ruling party VMRO DPMNE, who was beaten to death by a police officer on duty at the night of the elections celebrations in 2011.

The audio recordings reveal conversations mainly between the Minister of Internal Affairs and several key officials in the Government where they discuss how to cover the mistake conducted by the member of the police unit ‘Alfi’. Thus, the Minister shows concern on how this will affect their reputation, due to the fact that the police unit tried to hide the murder.

One of the audio recordings revealed supposedly Sasho Mijalkov admitting that policeman Igor Spasov committed the murder, while on duty, and taking oral order contrary to the official police order procedures. In another recording, Jankuloska and Koteski discuss how to resolve this case and cover up the mistake without making any further damage to the reputation of the Ministry and the Government.

The tapes released by the Social Democrats (SDSM) also revealed that Ivo Koteski tells Jankuloska that the policeman does not want to admit committing the murder. Koteski suggests that Spasov has to be persuaded into confessing the murder or otherwise he will bear worse consequences if denies to do so. Koteski also claimed that it is a better option for the Ministry of Interior to state that Spasov was not on duty that night.

The last conversation released was between the Jankuloska and the Prime Minister,Gruevski. Jankuloska states that rules must be respected when taking orders without required written procedure. Gruevski suggested that it is necessary to state that the policeman who killed Neshkoski should not be associated with the Prime Minister’s security, (where he worked before). Furthermore, he asks for a statement that he worked in the special unit “Tigers”. He lastly concludes that it should be stated that he was not on duty that night.

Quotes:

“That boy neither ran nor resisted them… He tripped and this guy beat the hell out of him,” – the Minister of Internal Affairs Gordana Jankulovska is heard saying in the wiretapped conversations..

Link to audio tapes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZAs1c6eM8I 

WIRETAPPING #27: EXPOSURE OF THE WORK OF THE AGENCY FOR SECURITY AND COUNTERINTELLIGENCE

On their 27th conference, the Social Democrats SDSM presented more material that heavily incriminates the right-wing ruling party VMRO-DPMNE, particularly, its several top people. The leader of the Social Democrats, Zoran Zaev, presented documents that he claims came from the Agency for Security and Counterintelligence and that reveal lists of people that were some of the 20,000 that were wiretapped by this government office. These Excel sheets reveal the names of high ranking politicians both in the government and in the opposition as well as media persons. Zaev mentioned the names of himself, then former Macedonian President and former SDSM party leader, Branko Crvenkovski, current Minister of Transport, Mile Janakieski, as well as editor in chief of one of the two biggest pro-government media TV stations, Dragan Pavlovic Latas. All these people were extensively wiretapped and long files existed with their real and code names, also noted in the presented documents.

The recordings of 13 conversations that the public had the opportunity to hear were mainly around the Law on Monitoring Communications that was to be amended under the suggestions of the European Union back in 2012. Conversations between high government people such as Minister of Internal Affairs, Gordana Jankulovska, chief of Counterintelligence Agency, Saso Mijalkov and President of Macedonian Parliament, Trajko Veljanoski reveal two important things. Firstly, they show the scope of possibilities that the Secret Police has when monitoring any person in the country via their mobile phone number and some of the reasons this is used that is clearly of a personal or favoritism nature, and not of a national security. The second thing that these conversations demonstrate is the negotiations and instructions by Mijalkov to Jankulovska, and then by Jankulovska to other political allies, on how to make amendments to the Law so that the monitoring of the work of the Counterintelligence Agency would be as harmless as possible.

Audio link

Some quotes:

  • Minister Jankulovska to Mitko Cavkov, director of Public Security Office about the negotioations on amendments to the Law on Monitoring Communications: “…and what you told me that I should accept from them [meaning the opposition party suggestions], I will, and other things…”Mitko Cavkov: “We are infringing our comfortable position by doing this, but we can do it…”

    Minister Jankulovska: “Listen, that is true, but you have to do something, if we don’t do this, our whole system will collapse”.

  • President of Macedonian Parliament, Trajko Veljanoski to Minister Jankulovska: “I also want a democracy here [in the Parliament] with 123 members from VMRO”. [The Parliament consist of 123 members in total.]