By Sinisa Jakov Marusic
After Branko Crvenkovski, head of the opposition Social Democratic party, accused the authorities of eavesdropping on him during the June general election, police have dismissed the allegations as unfounded.
Crvenkovski told the local news portal Sky.mk on that he is “positive” that the authorities spied on him in the elections, tapping his phone conversations.
The incumbent centre-right Prime Minister, Nikola Gruevski, head of the VMRO DPMNE party, won the election.
“I don’t [just] suspect it, I am entirely positive. There are numerous indications, but in order to acquire material evidence there needs to be a change in power,” Crvenkovski said.
He said that once his centre-left party regained power and duly obtained evidence of the alleged crime, “all those involved will be held responsible. That, I can guarantee”.
The police have rubbished claims that they listened in to the opposition leader prior to and during the election.
Police spokesperson Ivo Kotevski said Crvenkovski’s claims were “unfounded” and “speculative”. He said he saw the allegation as one more of Crvenkovski’s “political manipulations”.
This is not the first time that Crvenkovski has accused the police of eavesdropping. In 2000, then also in opposition, he released written documents of phone-tapped conversations between politicians, journalists and businessman.
He aaccused the then VMRO DPMNE leader and Prime Minister Ljubco Georgievski and his Police Minister, Dosta Dimovska, of having organised the eavesdropping.
The then President, Boris Trajkovski, granted Dimovska immunity from prosecution and she never stood trial.
However, the courts later ordered financial compensation for some of the public figures involved, including journalists who had recognized their conversations from the documents made public.