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Archive for Macedonia

Newsline: Macedonia to Probe Suspicious Embassy Purchases

Macedonia’s State Prosecution is to probe Foreign Ministry allegations that the previous administration spent tens of millions of euros over ten years in a highly suspect manner on buying real estate for embassies. “The prosecution is interested in this case and will investigate these allegations,” it told BIRN this week, adding that it is still early to predict whether the inquiry will result in opening a formal investigation and charges. At a press conference in the government headquarters, the Foreign Ministry’s State Secretary, Viktor Dimovski, said that they had uncovered many instances of excess spending and procedural irregularities during the previous administration’s endeavours to purchase real estate in foreign countries. Dimovski said the ministry suspected that “a network of lawyers, companies and individuals” was involved in a scheme to effectively pump money from the state budget. “More expensive buildings were favoured, even when larger buildings located in better areas were on offer. In addition, these buildings underwent expensive and unnecessary adaptations,” Dimovski said. The real estate, intended to be turned into embassies and consulates, was bought from 2007 in Budapest, Prague, Vienna, Ljubljana and Istanbul, Dimovski explained.


Newsline: Serbia withdraws embassy staff from Macedonia

The Serbian government has pulled its entire embassy staff from Macedonia amid claims over “offensive intelligence activities” against Belgrade, in a move that is likely to strain relations between the two Balkan neighbours. Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic told reporters that the withdrawal from the Macedonian capital, Skopje, was made after intelligence reports of “very offensive acts” planned against Serbian interests in Macedonia. He did not elaborate on the specific acts, adding that “everything will be much clearer” in the next 10 days. The recall was first announced by Macedonia’s ministry of foreign affairs, which said it was “not aware of the reasons for the decision”.


Newsline: Former Macedonian Ambassador to Australia accused of lies and deceit

The former Macedonian Ambassador to Australia lived a life of lies and deceit, defrauding members of his own community to secure large sums of money for a cancer operation he didn’t need, a court has been told. The allegations about the conduct of Pero Stojanovski, who was ambassador until 2011, included that ”he was using his position in the high office of ambassador to garner people’s respect and confidence in him” and to gain financial benefits by deception. Questions about Mr Stojanovski’s credibility arose at last week’s Supreme Court trial of his former partner, Sydney woman Lidjia Dumbaloska, who the former ambassador had accused of breaking into his home, stealing his laptop and attempting to blackmail him. But the Crown suddenly dropped the charges before the trial officially began after Ms Dumbaloska’s lawyer, Rick Mitry, told the court he had a pile of evidence and a string of witnesses who would give statements about Mr Stojanovksi’s behaviour. Mr Mitry told the court that the honesty and credibility of Mr Stojanovski was a fundamental issue in the case and he planned to show that his tenure as ambassador was prematurely terminated because of some of his behaviours. He said he had a string of statements from people that Mr Stojanovski had asked for money to pay for an urgent prostate cancer operation – a disease he never had. Crown prosecutor Anthony Williamson told the court that until the start of the trial they considered the evidence they had to be ”line ball” but had decided to let the jury decide. ”But in light of this further evidence … the Crown’s position that pursuing the trial is futile and its just a waste of the court’s time, the jury’s time, the parties’ time and we will not proceed further,” said Mr Williamson. He said the prosecution would pursue a minor theft charge in the summary court against Ms Dumbaloska.


Newsline: Ambassador of Macedonia blackmail case abandoned in Australia

A woman accused of trying to blackmail the former Ambassador for the Republic of Macedonia after a failed love affair, has broken down as her trial was abandoned in the ACT Supreme Court. Lidija Dumbaloska, 40, was charged in December 2010 after allegedly breaking into the then Ambassador’s home in Canberra where it is claimed she stole a laptop computer. She was also accused of trying to blackmail the Ambassador asking for $150,000 and 40,000 euros for the return of the laptop. The pair had been in a relationship, which had soured. Dumbaloska was to have faced a trial on Monday on charges of burglary, theft and blackmail. But the Crown abandoned the case after learning of a bid to present last minute evidence which would cast doubt on the credibility of the alleged victim. Dumbaloska will still face theft charges in the ACT Magistrates Court.


Newsline: Macedonian man allegedly throws petrol bomb at US embassy after watching thriller

A man has been arrested on suspicion of throwing a petrol bomb at the U.S. embassy in Macedonia — apparently under the influence of alcohol and a TV thriller. Police said the incendiary device exploded harmlessly a good 50 feet (15 meters) from the embassy compound’s gate in the capital, Skopje. The assailant managed to escape on foot. A 37-year-old local man was arrested later after his car hit another vehicle not far from the compound. The other motorist told emergency services the suspect told her that he had “set the Americans on fire.” Police said the suspect had a high blood alcohol count. He allegedly told officers that the attack was influenced by the American thriller “Defenseless” that he had previously watched on TV.


Newsline: US embassy accused of insulting Macedonia

The advertising campaign of the US embassy to Skopje insulted the Macedonian society, writes Macedonian Utrinski Vesnik daily writes. The embassy launched a campaign appealing for observation of the laws, placing billboards and posters, which compare the citizens to animals. “You are not a pig. Observe the law for cleaner Macedonia”, reads one of the slogans. Other says “Kids are not calves. Send them to school” and “You are not a fish to stay silent. Stop the domestic violence!”


Newsline: Ambassador’s ex-lover granted bail

The former girlfriend of the Macedonian ambassador to Australia wanted to end his political career when she allegedly broke into his home and stole his laptop, a court has heard. Lidija Dumbaloska was granted bail in the ACT Magistrates Court after being charged with blackmail, theft, burglary and using a carriage service to menace ambassador Pero Stojanovski. In a statement of facts, police allege the defendant entered the Griffith home on December 27 with a key the ambassador gave her when they were together. The ambassador told police Dumbaloska then called him from his house and said she was taking his computer. Mr Stojanovski told investigators the laptop contained sensitive information relating to his work at the Macedonian embassy. The defendant is also accused of taking a number of other items including a modem, a laptop bag and mobile phone SIM cards. Police allege the Rail Corp employee, who has worked for the state-owned corporation for 11 years and holds a masters degree in project management, demanded $150,000 and 40,000 euros for the return of the laptop. The court heard the pair’s relationship ended in June last year. It is alleged Dumbaloska contacted members of Mr Stojanovski’s family about information contained on the laptop, and made copies of files. Information about holidays the ambassador embarked on was also forwarded to several Macedonian newspapers, according to the statement of facts. Police raided the woman’s Bankstown home on New Years Eve and seized a number of items, including the laptop, which are being analysed by investigators. Dumbaloska was arrested on Friday, faced an extradition hearing in Parramatta Local Court on New Years Day and spent the weekend in custody.