FYROM Court Gives Former Premier Gruevski 2-Year Jail Term

Former FYROM premier Nikola Gruevski (file photo)

Nikola Gruevski, one-time leader of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), was sentenced to two years in jail on Wednesday for his part in a corruption scandal.

Gruevski’s 10-year spell as prime minister saw FYROM go on a post-Yugoslav spree of nation building, culminating in the erection of ahistorical statues all over Skopje.

However, a criminal court ruled that the 47-year-old conservative leader had broken the rules over the 2012 purchase of a €600,000 ($702,000) top-of-the-range bulletproof Mercedes-Benz 600 dubbed ‘the Tank’.

The country’s Special Prosecutor’s Office probed two individuals suspected of having arranged the illegal purchase of the car for Gruevski, who was prime minister at the time.

Evidence for Wednesday’s prosecution came to light through a series of controversial wiretaps. Ironically, public anger over widespread wiretapping was something which led to Gruevski’s fall from power in early 2016.

The former FYROM leader will remain a free man pending any appeal of the decision.

Gruevski was an often controversial figure in Greece, having previously accused Athens of deliberately avoiding talks over the name dispute.

In March, Gruevski was involved in ugly scenes recorded in FYROM’s parliament when the former prime minister interrupted, harangued and threw water at a lawmaker from the country’s Albanian minority.

Gruevski became enraged with parliament speaker Talat Xhaferi during the passing of a new language law.


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