Archbishop Jovan (John) VI

Stop the terror, persecution
and discrimination on religious grounds
conducted by the Government of FYROMacedonia!

The Letter that the Attorney of Archbishop Jovan, Mr. Vasil Georijev Sent to a Number of International Institutions Regarding the Unlawful Treatment by the Public Prosecution and the Court in R. Macedonia

Filed under: General — June 2, 2008 @ 6:51 pm

Bitola, 01.06.2008

Subject : Request for the attitude of the Veles Public Prosecutor’s Office as
well as the Courts of Law having jurisdiction for dealing with the case No. C. 86/04 against the defendant His Beatitude kyr kyr Jovan Vraniskoski from Bitola

Filed by: Vasil Gjorgjiev, BL from Bitola, Macedonia, A-1/7 Scheherazade Mall, defence attorney

Honourable Madams/Sirs,

Criminal procedures had been conducted against the aforesaid Archbishop kyr kyr Jovan Vraniskoski for a long time now, that is for more that 5 years, or to be more exact, since he left the Macedonian Orthodox Church (hereinafter referred to as the “MOC”), and the proceedings of the case No. C. 86/04 is pending before the Court of First Instance in Veles, charges being ‘embezzlement’ upon Article 239 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Macedonia. Conducting of criminal procedures is nothing unusual, even if it is against an Archbishop, if the intention for his persecution and severe violation of the Constitution, the law and of the International Conventions and Protocols regarding human rights is not the issue here.

My capacity of defence attorney authorises me to protect the legal interests of my client, to prevent the law to be violated and to see for the Constitution, the laws and the International Conventions and Protocols regarding human rights to be implemented.

In the spirit of that duty of mine, in the realization of the formal and the material defence, I encounter serious problems caused of severe violation of the Constitution and the laws, as well of the European Convention on Human Rights Protection, i.e., Article 6 thereof. Urged by the aforesaid, I deem it necessary to inform the relevant factors who could prevent further violation of the Constitution and the law by the Public Prosecutor of the Court in the Republic of Macedonia being in question.

Namely, the Veles Public Prosecutor instituted criminal procedure against the defendant kyr kyr Jovan Vraniskoski before the Court of First Instance in Veles for a criminal offence embezzlement upon Article 239 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Macedonia, on grounds that, according to the Public Prosecutor, he had pilfered moneys amounting to a significant amount (not being precisely dated) that were entrusted to him and the indictment consists of nineteen counts citing the acts and the allegedly pilfered amounts.

However, the fact that the aforesaid charges were brought by the Deputy Public Prosecutor Slavica Temelkovski who represents it, and whose mandate had been expired in the time of filing the indictment without being reappointed and re-elected for that position as the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia and the Law on Public Prosecution provide. To my regret, such things happen in our country, so the aforesaid was allowed to falsely present herself as Deputy Public Prosecutor, even to institute criminal procedures and to represent the prosecution and file legal remedies.

The Indictment No. CO. 245/02 had been instituted on 23/02/2004 when the mandate of the deputy public prosecutors was 6years according to the Law on Public Prosecution. Amending the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia regarding fixing permanent mandate for the public prosecutors has been enforced by virtue of the Amendment XXX dated on 07/12/2005 when the competency for election of the public prosecutors was assigned to the Council of Public Prosecutors. Because the mandate for the position of the Deputy public Prosecutor of the above mentioned had been expired in the time of filing of the Indictment, and she was not elected by the Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia yet, she acted without a mandate that she should have get with a re-election. Article 84 of the Law on Public Prosecutor (published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Macedonia No. 38 dated on 17/06/2004) provides that : “Deputy Public Prosecutors shall be appointed with mandate of an indefinite period of time, in accordance with the provisions hereof. The procedure for appointment of the Public Prosecutors and the Deputy Public Prosecutors shall begin six months before expiry of the mandate they have been appointed for”.

The fact that the afore named acted as mandated prosecutor in the period when her mandate had been expired has been confirmed by her statement entered in the minutes of the main hearing as well in her final speeches on 30/03/2006 and 05/04/2007 when she quoted the practice of the Supreme Court on this issue. upon our objection and demand the charges to be rejected on grounds that it was filed by a person without a mandate for it, The Court of First Instance in Veles did not deal with this issue at all, in spite that the Court brought two acquittals by virtue of Sentences No C. 86/04 dated on 03/04/2006 and 10/04/2007 respectively, but on grounds that the criminal offence being charged to the defendant kyr kyr Jovan Vraniskoski does not contain the substantial elements defining it according to the Law, which was grounded on the evidence presented and especially on the Expertise Report of the Court Expertise Office in Skopje. The Court of Appeals repealed the acquittals brought without dealing with our complaint that the prosecutor had not a mandate and without even deigning us to any answer on the issue.

Out of the contents of the indictment and the evidence presented, and out of the expertise made by the Court Expertise Office in particular, it has been established that the defendant was spending the moneys of the Dioceses he had governed when he was a Metropolitan of the MOC for the necessities of the Church and that he had not embezzled not a single penny, and the entire property he had gained for the Dioceses remained with the MOC, he did not take it with him, so that the Court righteously found that there are no elements of criminal offence in his acts.

I find that after all that has happened during the last five years to the Archbishop Jovan Vraniskoski, there is no legal security for him, for with such attitude of the Public Prosecutor\’s Office in Veles and of the Court of Appeals in Skopje when the latter has not even considered the issue of lacking mandate of the prosecution and the false presentation by the aforesaid Deputy Prosecutor, and insisting on conviction by virtue of the last Ruling No. CZ 1553/07 dated on 19/09/2007 ordering the Court Panel to be replaced with another one, thus implying order for conviction.

The Court of Appeals in Skopje is authorized to hold hearings and to pass judgement on the case aiming to avoid dragging out the lawsuit and thus tormenting the defendant, so why the Court only repealed the verdict for the second time? That is contrary to the principle of quick dealing with the cases and of humane treatment of the defendants, as well as of the principle of fair trial and equality of instruments. Where is the equality here, when the Court closes eyes before the notorious fact that expert associate represented the prosecution falsely presenting herself and signing to be the Deputy Prosecutor … !!! The intention to drag out the lawsuit thus keeping my client in uncertainty and legal insecurity is obvious.

As a matter of fact, it is well known that there were other lawsuits against the Archbishop Jovan Vraniskoski and that two convictions had been brought. He had already served his sentences in the Idrizovo Penitentiary near Skopje, and this last trial resembles to them with the biasness in the manner of conducting thereof. Moreover, the fact that the expertise was made by the Court Expertise Office of the Ministry of Justice pointing to a conclusion that the state expertise was impartial, and it established that there was no pilfering and embezzlement of moneys by the archbishop Jovan Vraniskoski as the public Prosecutor\’s Office strives to falsely present it.

Therefore I am forced to turn to a number of institutions aiming to inform on the anomalies in this case and on the obvious biasness aimed that the conviction of the Archbishop Jovan Vraniskoski for his third time, and that each of the relevant factors that would receive this letter intercedes for implementation of the law and not of politics, using her/his influence and demanding, within her/his authorisations of course, that the rule of law is observed, thus contributing to the just judgement of this case.

Vasil Gjorgjiev, BL

Attorney at law
A 1/7 Scheherazade Mall, Bitola
R. of Macedonia

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