ISSN 2330-717X

Macedonia Readies Extradition Treaties With Neighbours

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By Sinisa Jakov Marusic

Teams from Macedonia and Serbia met on Tuesday in the Macedonian capital Skopje to start talks on the details of a treaty, expected to be signed soon.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Justice says a similar treaty with Croatia is already prepared and will be signed on Friday. Talks on this subject with Montenegro will also commence this Friday, the ministry said.

In recent years, several high-profile Macedonian citizens holding dual citizenship have fled the country to avoid prosecution at home.

Declining to talk about specific cases, Justice Minister Mihajlo Manevski expressed hope on Tuesday that the new treaties “will help bring to justice suspected Macedonian criminals who are using neighbouring countries as safe havens thanks to their dual citizenships”.

Manevski is taking part in the Macedonia-Serbia talks.

One notorious example concerns Macedonia’s former chief of customs, Dragan Daravelski, who is wanted in Macedonia on embezzlement charges. Serbia in the past refused to extradite Daravelski, who also holds a Serbian passport, citing its constitution. This prohibits extradition of Serbian citizens.

Another case concerns a former state trustee for several bankrupt companies, Vladislav Tamburkovski, sentenced in absentia in Macedonia to jail for fraud. He is also out of the country, believed to be living in Bulgaria or Serbia.

Former health minister Vlado Dimov is believed to have fled to Turkey to avoid corruption charges.

Following the example of several countries in the region, Macedonia made constitutional changes this January, making possible the extradition of its citizens to and from other countries based on bilateral treaties.

Balkan Insight

Balkan Insight

The Balkan Insight (fornerkt the Balkin Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN) is a close group of editors and trainers that enables journalists in the region to produce in-depth analytical and investigative journalism on complex political, economic and social themes. BIRN emerged from the Balkan programme of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, IWPR, in 2005. The original IWPR Balkans team was mandated to localise that programme and make it sustainable, in light of changing realities in the region and the maturity of the IWPR intervention. Since then, its work in publishing, media training and public debate activities has become synonymous with quality, reliability and impartiality. A fully-independent and local network, it is now developing as an efficient and self-sustainable regional institution to enhance the capacity for journalism that pushes for public debate on European-oriented political and economic reform.

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