Macedonia: 4 former top officials under investigation


Macedonia’s organized crime and corruption prosecutor has requested three former agriculture ministers and a deputy minister be jailed while they are investigated for abuse of power over the lease of farmland.

The prosecutor’s office said Friday it ordered an investigation into the four former conservative government officials on allegations they signed more than 580 leases for state farmland with individuals who never paid rent, costing the state more than 1.4 million euros in lost revenue.

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Authorities did not identify the suspects, who were being brought for questioning before Skopje’s criminal court.

Many former conservative government ministers are being tried in corruption cases stemming from a 2015 wiretapping scandal, including fugitive former prime minister Nikola Gruevski, who was sentenced to two years imprisonment last year but fled to Hungary seeking asylum.