Quite revealing but hardly surprising is a report from Wikileaks which expose the fascist methods of Gruevski’s Regime to enforce loyalty inside his party and silence the Opposition. According to the report the current FYROM’s government have been “misusing official position” against members of the political elite in FYROM. Highly publicized arrests, detentions or investigations of current and former ministers, party members, and the opposition have put pressure on the political elite in FYROM to refrain from challenging or criticizing the Gruevski’s Regime, a fear-mongering campaign devoted to scaring FYROM’s citizens that is now in full swing.
1. (C) SUMMARY: Over the past month, it appears that Prime Minister Gruevski and his VMRO inner circle have used the judicial and policing arms of the state to enforce party discipline and quell dissent, which has contributed to an increasing climate of fear. The government has been using a catch-all corruption charge of "abuse of office" or "misuse of official position" against members of the political elite in Macedonia. Highly publicized arrests, detentions or investigations of current and former ministers, party members, and the opposition have put pressure on the political elite in Macedonia to refrain from challenging or criticizing the Gruevski government. We have also heard complaints from non-governmental organizations whose members have been called in by the police for "informative talks" on their actions. Moreover, these tactics can be sold to the Macedonian public as the government's valiant efforts against corruption, which helps maintain public support for these abusive actions. Friends Become Enemies of the State: Trenkoski and Besimi ------------------------------------- 2. (C) One recent high profile arrest was of Georgi Trenkoski, former manager of the Macedonian Health Fund and ruling VMRO-DPMNE party member. Trenkoski had the reputation for being one of the cleanest bureaucrats in the Macedonian Government and was given a "gold star" award for excellent management in 2007. In July, he resigned from his position on principle, disagreeing with Gruevski,s current policies. He is also an alumnus of the U.S. State Department's Ron Brown Fellowship Program and has close ties to the international community. On 3 November, he was publicly arrested on charges of "misuse of official position" and accused of authorizing the payment of a pharmaceutical company twice for the same shipment. Trenkoski told the Ambassador before his arrest that he had been threatened with legal action by the PM,s Chief of Staff Martin Protoger. Protoger hotly denied this to us. The arrest occurred on the street with press "conveniently" nearby--it was evident that select "government friendly" media were tipped off ahead of the arrest. The papers condemned Trenkoski as corrupt and ran with the story immediately after he was picked up by police. 3. (C) In a 10 November meeting with the Ambassador, fellow Ron Brown alumni and close associates of Trenkoski informed the Ambassador that the entire event was politically motivated and engineered by the Prime Minister for the sake of punishing Trenkoski for speaking out of turn even though he did so privately. They firmly believed that Trenkoski was innocent and that the charges were meant as a message, not only to him, but to others who might consider crossing the party. They claimed Gruevski was making an example out of Trenkoski and that he was using his political power over the judiciary to bring &trumped up8 charges against political enemies. 4. (C) Another notable case is the recent allegation against Minister of Economy Fatmir Besimi for the previous government's decision to sell shares of Skopje,s publicly-owned transport company. (Besimi held the same position in the 2002-2006 SDSM-DUI government.) A preliminary investigation into the legality of the sale was opened in 2007, but did not lead to any arrests or charges. Allegations in the case resurfaced 7-8 November against Besimi (and former SDSM Finance Minister Popovski), almost four years after the event in question. Both Besimi and especially Popovski enjoy reputations as clean politicians, a relative rarity here. In a 12 November meeting, Besimi told us that he sees clear political motives for this case, mainly to ruin his reputation, to reduce his effectiveness in seeking reform in the energy sector, and perhaps to pressure DUI leader Ali Ahmeti to fire him or force his resignation. He is determined not to resign, but if indeed criminal charges are brought against him, he feels he would have to do so as he could not carry out his duties effectively. Besimi told the Ambassador on 23 November that he thought the current threat had passed, but he noted that government investigators are always snooping around his ministry and collecting data that VMRO can use against him. Popovski was questioned for hours by a plain clothes police officers, but no charges have been levied as of 25 November. [...]
Let's Not Forget the Opposition -------------------------- 7. (SBU) In addition to enforcing discipline in the party and governing coalition, Gruevski also uses his control over the judicial and policing functions of the state to attempt to silence the opposition. The arrest and detention in August 2008 of SDSM Vice-President and Strumica mayor Zoran Zaev, was an early indicator of the government's tactics. Although Zaev won reelection in March 2009, in the last two weeks, he is one of five members of the opposition SDSM party that have been charged with this same &abuse of office/misuse of official position charges8 for corruption. On 4 November, the government floated allegations in the press that former President and current SDSM leader Branko Crvenkovski and his cabinet used thousands of denar of state money for personal use during his time as president. The SDSM spokesperson publicly accused the government of using the judiciary to attack its political opposition and create a psychological climate of fear among the public against questioning or criticizing the government.
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