SKOPJE (Macedonia), November 13 (SeeNews) – Macedonia’s interior ministry said it is searching for former prime minister Nikola Gruevski after he failed to report to prison to start serving a jail sentence.
In late October, the Skopje criminal court ordered Gruevski to present himself at prison by November 8 in order to serve a two-year jail sentence for his role in a corruption scheme in 2012.
Macedonian police could not find Gruevski at his home during the weekend and an arrest warrant was issued on Monday, according to the list of wanted people posted on the website of the interior ministry.
Last month, Skopje Appelate Court dismissed an appeal lodged by Gruevski against the jail sentence.
However, the court partially upheld an appeal by former senior interior ministry official Gojko Popovski, reducing his sentence for his involvement in the scheme to four-and-a-half years in prison from six-and-a-half years.
In May, the Skopje criminal court sentenced Gruevski to two years in prison for unlawfully influencing the decision of interior ministry officials to purchase a Mercedes car at an estimated cost of 600,000 euro ($683,532). The criminal court also sentenced Popovski to six-and-a-half years in prison for abuse of power after being involved in the scheme.
Gruevski, who led Macedonia's government from 2006 to 2016, was convicted on evidence collected during a massive wiretapping scandal that broke out in 2015 and contributed to the fall of his government. Gruevski has denied responsibility for the wiretapping.
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