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Borissov: I don’t want even think about blocking Macedonia’s NATO bid

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Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, during a visit to Skopje, said it was high time to end conflicting themes related to history. “All the heroes had fought for one goal. I hope the historians will redouble their efforts to solve history-related matters, Borissov said.

He also made clear he doesn’t want even think about a situation in which his country might be forced to block North Macedonia’s NATO bid. “It is inadmissible that I raise my hand against North Macedonia. I can’t imagine”.

Borissov appears confident that by October the origin of Goce Delchev [whose country’s hero was he] will be known by October. “Nonetheless, I have my own boundaries, and I don’t want to be branded as traitor of Bulgaria,” he added.

“All the heroes we are arguing about had sacrificed for us, so we can stand here together. They dreamed of autonomy, peace. I hope that historians will not hinder but rather make extra efforts to find what unites us.”

“Goce Delchev is a Bulgarian who fought for freedom of Macedonia,” Bulgarian PM said, alluding to a long-dead hero’s memory that puts the two countries’ reconciliation to test.

Two years after the two countries signed a neighborly cooperation agreement, a bitter argument over the national identity of an early-20th century revolutionary hero is threatening to undo recent progress. Namely, when the Joint History Commission recently stumbled on one of the most contested issues between the two neighboring countries over the national identity of the Ottoman-era revolutionaries that both countries celebrate.

While many feel that shared heroes like Goce Delchev should be part of a joint history, Bulgaria has recently again insisted that Macedonians must accept his identity as Bulgarian.

The original intent of the Agreement was to leave history to the professionals [historians] not to politics.

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Macedonia

Deskoska: SJO law needed for judicial reform strategy

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Justice Minister Renata Deskoska said on Friday the enactment of the law on public prosecutor’s office is not necessary for the follow-up of SJO cases, but for delivering commitments set out in the Judicial Reform Strategy.

“The enactment of the law is no longer important for continuation of SJO-led cases. It is important for delivering pledges under the Strategy for Reform of Judicial System,” Deskoska said.

“The SJO cases will be wrapped up,” she said, adding that the possibility of any adverse impact from Supreme Court’s opinion had been eliminated.

The justice minister made the remarks Friday during an event at the premises of the Public Prosecutor’s Office. The officials unveiled a 20-month project aimed at strengthening the country’s investigative centers.

The project, supported by a German Foundation and the Croatian Ministry of Justice, aims to strengthen capacity of investigators as well as the national capacities for the fight against organized crime and corruption.

“There can be no efficient justice system without investigation centers. They are prosecutors’ eyes and ears,” Deskoska said.

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Macedonia

All hearings in SJO-run cases delayed

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All hearings in cases run by the Special Prosecutor’s Office (SJO), which were to be held today, have been delayed.

The hearings in three cases “Titanik”, “Titanik 3” and “Tortura” have been scheduled for Friday, September 13, but were postponed due to the transfer of cases from SJO to the Public Prosecutor’s Office.

SJO prosecutor Lile Stefanova said the next few hearings are highly likely to be put on hold until it is decided which department will take over the cases.

It is still unclear whether the SJO prosecutors will retain their task related to cases already undertaken, or the cases might be handed over to new prosecutors. Nonetheless, the future of SJO and SJO prosecutors hangs in limbo as talks on public prosecution law remain deadlocked with no sign of a breakthrough.

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Joveski, SJO discuss transfer of cases

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Prosecutor General Ljubomir Joveski arrived at the premises of Special Prosecutor’s Office (SJO) Friday morning for talks with Office prosecutors relating the upcoming takeover by public prosecutor’s office of criminal cases run by SPO.

In a statement released on Thursday, the SJO said it is prepared to immediately hand over all cases, paperwork and evidence to the Public Prosecution Department.

“We inform the public that the Public Prosecutor’s Office of North Macedonia has sent a letter stating that pursuant to Article 6, paragraph 5 of the Law on Public Prosecutor’s Office for prosecuting criminal offences related to and arising from the content of the illegally intercepted communication

[also known as Special Prosecutor’s Office or SP]

, it is necessary that this Office takes immediate action to hand over the cases to the Public Prosecutor’s Office,” SPO said in  a statement yesterday.

SPO stands ready to immediately hand over the cases along with related paperwork and evidence, the special prosecutors said.

Last week, the head of SPO, Katica Janeva, who was detained and remanded in custody amid an investigation into extortion racket allegations, formally demanded that Prosecutor General’s Office takes over the cases and pre-trial proceedings. The Public Prosecutor’s Office for Prosecuting Criminal Offences Related to and Arising from the Content of the Illegally Intercepted Communication, known as the Special Prosecutor’s Office (SPO), was established with the Law on the Public Prosecutor’s Office for Prosecuting Criminal Offence Related to and Arising from the Content of the Illegally Intercepted Communication,

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