|Macedonia’s former prime minister Nikola Gruevski arriving at court. Archive photo: EPA-EFE/GEORGI LICOVSKI|
By the order of the Criminal Court in Skopje, Macedonian police on Monday confirmed that they had issued an arrest warrant for former prime minister Nikola Gruevski who is to serve his two-year jail sentence.
This was issued after the Appeal Court last Friday rejected the former prime minister’s appeal for a postponement of his sentence.
Gruevski was unreachable over the weekend and earlier on Monday for the court courier who should have handed him the decision – which should have prompted him to report immediately to the Shuto Orizari prison near Skopje.
In the court case codenamed “Tank”, Gruevski was found guilty of illegally soliciting the secret purchase of a 580,000-euro Mercedes in 2012 from former Interior Minister Gordana Jankuloska, which he planned to use for his own purposes.
The Appeal Court confirmed his two-year jail sentence on October 5.
Gruevski has insisted that this and other ongoing court cases against him are a political set-up, fixed by the new government led by the Social Democratic Union, SDSM.
Gruevski served as prime minister of Macedonia from 2006 to 2016. His right-wing VMRO DPMNE party was ousted in 2017 after a prolonged political crisis in which he and his close associates were accused of imposing authoritarian rule and involvement in corruption.