Mon, 17 Dec 2018
35
Hartford

Macedonian police have issued an arrest warrant for former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, who has been convicted and sentenced to a two-year prison term on corruption-related charges.

Interior Ministry spokesman Toni Angelovski said the warrant for Gruevski's arrest was issued November 12 following court instructions.

Judges on November 9 rejected Gruevski's final appeal against his serving the sentence.

The former leader of the conservative main opposition party VMRO-DPMNE was sentenced in May to two years in prison for unlawfully influencing Interior Ministry officials over the purchase of a luxury vehicle at an estimated cost of 600,000 euros ($674,500).

Court clerks have tried in vain to locate Gruevski and personally serve him the order to present himself at the prison.

Gruevski, 48, was prime minister from 2006-2016. He is the former leader of the main opposition conservative VMRO-DPMNE party, which claims he is being politically persecuted.

He is still facing three other corruption trials, including over a major wiretapping scandal, and could be handed longer sentences than the one already given to him.

With reporting by AP RFE/RL's Balkan Service

RFE/RL's Balkan Service promotes the values of democracy, human rights, and freedom of expression in a region where genuine media freedom remains elusive and where many media outlets remain divided along ethnic lines.

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Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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