Time: 4:20 p.m. CEST Update: 6:33 p.m. CEST
Photography, videography and text by Aleksandra Dukovska
Politicians, businessmen, journalists and others’ citizens phone numbers were unlawfully intercepted by three surveillance systems from 2008 until 2015, the Prosecution on the illegally intercepted conversations claimed on November 18 news conference in Skopje.
“Target” is the name under which this prosecution, formed because of the political talks in 2015, should result in possible judicial case to explain how many persons were targeted under illegal interception in the period of several years. Prosecutor Fatime Fetai gave details of the newly open investigation, explaining that, according their investigation, about 5827 phone numbers were under surveillance without a court order.
The list of the targeted people includes former ministers in the Government of Nikola Gruevski, but excludes the phone number of the former Prime minister Gruevski, and contains no data for the current president Gjorgje Ivanov. Many others who have files of their phone conversations are numbers that probably called the so-called targeted numbers.
The spokesperson of the prosecution, Lence Ristovska responded to the questions of the reporters at Friday’s news conference in Skopje. Ristovska explained that this investigation will have influence in the case “Putsch,” were the former Prime minister Gruevski blames the president of the opposition party Zoran Zaev and several other state and local officials.
In addition, Ristovska said that this case results of their correlation with the data they have, which numbers were unlawfully intercepted. Ristovska claimed that is pure coincidence their news conference on the new investigation is three days before the official beginning of the election campaign, which starts on November 21.
“We are appealing that our work is professional; it is not our goal to influence to the election process,” Ristovska said. She did not wanted to reveal the name of the telecommunication operator, which numbers where intercepted.
The prosecution claims the unlawful interception was inside the Department for security and counterintelligence within the Ministry of Interior.
Note: The infographic presented as slide during the news conference says “Target” aimed 5817 numbers, while the transcript of the introductory part of the news conference says 5827 numbers were part of the unlawful interception of communications.