16.07.2015 The Platform of Civil Society Organizations for Fight against Corruption issues again a call for the Public Prosecution to act in a more effective and transparent manner on the issues of alleged malpractices, unlawful treatment, corruption and violation of human rights revealed in the published telephone communications within the last months that would contribute to raise confidence in this institution.
Besides this, The Platform asks Government to include the civil sector in the implementation of the recommendations of Priebe’s Report, especially in monitoring the efficiency and effects of the implementation of the announced action plans.
Moreover, Platform members express concern over the attitude of the State Commission for Prevention of Corruption which continues with its isolated and non-transparent working. The Commission as an independent state body with broad competence and authorizations for dealing with cases to which this public reaction addresses, has not yet responded to the call of 25th of March this year, nor responded to a request for meeting addressed on 15th of May, 2015.
On 15th of May 2015, the Platform requested information from the Public Prosecutor of Republic of Macedonia, Mr. Marko Zvrlevski, about the alleged malpractices, unlawful treatment, corruption and violation of human rights revealed in the published telephone communications in the last months. This Request came after the ignoring of the Public Call to all the relevant institutions to act within 30 days upon these questions issued on 25th of March 2015.
Having regard to Article 8 of the Law on Public Prosecution according to which the Public Prosecutor is obliged to inform the public about his work and taking into consideration the seriousness of the allegations that the Public Prosecutor should investigate and the wider public interest that they carry with them, we thought that the Prosecutor is obliged to come up with more information. In a letter on 15th of May 2015 we asked:
1. Is a team of investigators formed and whether the Public Prosecution possesses the necessary capacities for investigations?
2. How many and what kind of actions were taken (until 14th of May, 2015)?
3. Are other institutions cooperative to provide any necessary information?
The Public Prosecution responded to our requirement for more information. It informed us that cases are divided to 23 public prosecutors and that the Public Prosecution possess required capacity for implementing investigations. The second and third question were not answered. The Public Prosecution stated that, in order to protect the secrecy of the investigation procedure the PP will not share details, and that PP cooperates with all law enforcement authorities as well as with all individual and legal personalities with uninterrupted and continuous cooperation.
One of the recommendations of Priebe’s Report, prepared from group of experienced experts, refer to the work of PP: “Investigations and prosecutions should be beyond any doubt as to their impartiality and with regard to an equal treatment of any person under investigation. This includes the duration of investigations and the intensity with which they are carried out.”
The Platform considers that the transparency of the Public Prosecution is crucial precondition for the fight against corruption and building confidence in institutions. Incomplete answers that avoid giving information which cannot harm the investigation make this procedure non-transparent. In the same time, PP with its behavior leaves room for concern about its independence in acting, commitment to investigation, and the number and intensity of investigation actions undertaken in its progress.