An appeal acquitted Mijalkov and for "Placevi na Vodno", Gruevski's sentence was increased by two years

Sasho Mijalkov
Sasho Mijalkov / Photo: EPA-EFE / GEORGI LICOVSKI

The convicted former director of the Security and Counterintelligence Agency Sasho Mijalkov received a suspended sentence for the case "Placevi na Vodno", after the Appellate Court announced today that it accepted his appeal against the verdict by which he was sentenced to one year and three months in prison. At the same time, the Appeal of the former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski increased his sentence by two years and he is now sentenced to a total of nine years in prison in this case.

In the "Placevi na Vodno" case, Mijalkov was convicted of illegal purchase of property in the elite Skopje neighborhood. In that case, with the first-instance verdict, Gruevski, who fled to Hungary, was sentenced to seven years in prison. In addition to the illegal purchase of Vodno's salaries, Gruevski was also convicted of misuse of party donations.

In the announcement of the Appeal, it is stated that the court rejected Gruevski's appeals, while it partially respects Mijalkov's and the Basic Public Prosecutor's Office for Prosecution of Organized Crime and Corruption. In Mijalkov's alternative sentence – a suspended sentence, the time he spent in custody is also calculated.

"It is determined that it will not be carried out if the accused does not commit a new criminal offense within 4 - four years - after the finality of the verdict", it is stated in the announcement from the Appeal.

In the explanation for the suspended sentence, the Appeal says that Mijalkov did not take real actions in the crime, but only verbal ones.

"The Council considered that the first instance court violated Article 24 of the Criminal Code, which states that the aider is punished the same or less than the perpetrator of the crime. Bearing in mind Article 24 of the Criminal Code and in the ratio and correlation of the sentences of N.G. from S. (who is on the run),, J.K: – one year in prison, N.Y. alternative measure of probation, R.N. An alternative measure is a suspended sentence for direct perpetrators with specific actions and procedures," the announcement states.

The appeal considers that in the part of the verdict for Gruevski, the Criminal Court did not sufficiently appreciate the aggravating circumstances and therefore respected the appeal of the Prosecutor's Office, increasing his sentence from 7 to 9 years in prison.
When it comes to the real estate confiscated from the convicted, the Appeal confirmed the verdict, with which the property of 3 million euros will be transferred to the ownership of the state.

The criminal court for the "Placevi na Vodno" case sentenced Mijalkov, Gruevski's first cousin and former head of UBK, to one year and three months in prison. He was accused of "assisting in the crime of money laundering and other criminal proceeds". And the businessman was sentenced to the same punishment Orce Kamchev, for money laundering. He was released from prison in November of last year after the Criminal Court combined his two sentences for the "Water Squares" and "Imperia" cases.

They were sentenced to suspended prison terms Risto Novacevski и Nenad Josifovic, a sentence which, according to the verdict, can be changed to prison if they commit a new crime within the next five years.

According to the indictment, in the period from June 2006 to October 2012, Gruevski, as a party leader, instead of presenting money as donations received in VMRO-DPMNE, obtained 1,3 million euros for himself, and then released them into circulation and bought plots of land in Vodno . It is about land on which there was a forest, and which, with the changes in the General Urban Plan (GUP), was converted into construction land. The others were accused of helping him in the purchase of the plots.

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